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Last week’s events – 11-17 September

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Paroubek killed the elections, Paroubek, the assassin, Wild country – those were some of the headlines on the front pages of Czech newspapers on Wednesday after the ČSSD’s boycott of the vote on the dissolution of the lower chamber. Despite the political instability, the Czech crown firmed sharply against the euro on Wednesday in the best result since last November.

>>> All the parties have interrupted their campaigns, a Lidové noviny headline said on Saturday. Parties fight on, Právo’s headline said on the same day. On Tuesday, Právo speculated on the compensation money that various MPs were likely to get after the expected dissolution of the lower chamber that day.

>>> “Now I will have to move those boxes back again,” Právo quoted some MPs who had already moved out some of their personal belongings from their offices before the scheduled vote in the lower chamber on its dissolution on Tuesday. “That’s like in the Balkans, that’s like in the Balkans,” the same daily quoted an ODS member commenting on the postponement of the elections. A vaccine against Mexican flu will be available for chronically ill patients, not for politicians, Mf Dnes reported on Wednesday.

>>> “It all started in June. One of the hens had her bum bitten off. We thought it was cannibalism, but we were wrong,” Lidové noviny quoted a hen breeders from the Chomutov area where martens are now living in large numbers.

>>> US President Barack Obama phoned Czech Prime Minister Jan Fischer late on Wednesday night to tell him that there will be no anti-missile base on Czech territory. “There’s nothing wrong about the chairman’s wife helping us. Even Michelle Obama was helping her husband before he was elected president of America,” Jaroslav Tvrdík, ČSSD’s electoral manager, said, commenting on the fact that his party was going to distribute fairy tales on CDs with a dedication from Petra Paroubková.

>>> After seven years, the Czech baby boom is over, a Lidové noviny headline read on Saturday. Some 1,600 fewer children were born in the first half of 2009 compared to the same period last year. Over 60,000 people attended a concert by the Czech rock band Kabát in Prague on Saturday night. A vegetable orchestra performed in Akropolis on Thursday.

>>> The famous Czech conductor Jiří Bělohlávek played a vacuum cleaner at the BBC Proms music festival in London, Mf Dnes reported on Monday.

>>> An unknown prankster cancelled three ČSSD meetings in the northern Bohemia, by sticking labels saying CANCELLED on the party’s posters inviting their voters to the election meetings. Not only voters, but also party members were confused, Právo reported on Tuesday.

>>> Topolánek stepped down as a member of parliament on Wednesday, saying he is re-evaluating his role as a politician. Some speculated Topolánek wants to become the new EU commissioner.

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