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Last week’s events: 15-21 May

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>>> “You’re pitiable and lame. You don’t even know how to aim well,” ČSSD head Jiří Paroubek said Saturday at a pre-election meeting in Plzeň, where he had to face a second “attack” with eggs within a few days. “Egg throwers are getting organized” read a Lidové noviny headline on Monday. “I would also like to throw,” said a member of a Facebook group that supports egging Paroubek. The Social Democrat accused the ODS of supporting the attacks and called on the party to distance itself from the assaults. The Civic Democrats said on Tuesday that a son of high ČSSD functionary was one of those whose eggs missed Paroubek in Plzeň.

>>> According to qualified estimates, 30% of adult Czech population snore, Petr Rambousek from the otorhinolaryngological department of Prague’s general teaching hospital told Právo on Tuesday. “This night is going to be long, very long,” the captain of the Slavia soccer team said, anticipating the celebrations that would follow the club’s winning the first league after its victory over Viktoria Žižkov on Monday.

>>> All members of the new cabinet except Human Rights Minister Michael Kocáb have revealed their assets to Hospodářské noviny. The paper said Transport Minister Gustáv Slamečka is the one with the most savings. A treasure of 3,500 silver coins from the 17th century was found in the south Bohemian town of Kašperské Hory on Thursday. More than 40% of Czech managers say they tolerate offering and accepting bribes as part of doing business, compared with a European average of 25%, according to a poll by Ernst & Young. “Save people from parasites and speculators by passing the law against usury,” Josef Středula, the head of the trade union KOVO, said at a Saturday trade union demonstration at Prague’s Hradčany square.

>>> The national economy has crashed its furthest in 16 years, according to preliminary figures released by the Czech Statistical Office on Friday. The lower house approved a multibillion crown package of measures aimed at boosting the economy on the same day. Prime Minister Jan Fischer has said it will be hard to keep this year’s budget deficit under CZK 150 billion as he had hoped. According to ČSSD Shadow Finance Minister Bohuslav Sobotka, the country will not be able to adopt the euro before 2014 or 2015.

>>> “It is one of the priority tasks of this month,” ODS head Mirek Topolánek told radio Impuls about his decision to get divorced from his wife, Pavla Topolánková. Topolánek has an almost 2-year-old son with his partner and party colleague Lucie Talmanová. About one in 20 children in the Czech Republic is born after assisted reproduction, compared to one in six in countries such as Denmark, Finland and Belgium, an April survey conducted by IBRS has found. The share of deliveries by cesarean section has been rising, though in many cases the surgery is unnecessary, the magazine Respekt reported this week. “To meet a child on the street will become a rarity”, said a Wednesday headline in Mladá fronta Dnes, referring to the ČR’s estimated demographic development as presented by the Czech Statistical Office. In 2065 every third person will be a pensioner and every fifth will be a foreigner, the survey said.

>>> Low-income men die seven years earlier than rich men, the State Health Institute has found. Big earners would have to pay much higher taxes if the Social Democrats win the early elections in October, the press reported on Monday. Praguers are more wasteful when it comes to water consumption than those living in the rest of the country – one household member consumes 122 litres per day on average, while elsewhere the number is 94.2 litres per day, the Czech Statistical Office said on Monday. Czechs use salt excessively, which leads to high blood pressure, Karel Horký from Prague’s General Teaching Hospital told Právo on Tuesday.

>>> “And I don’t care that those who agree with me listen to Eva and Vašek and order fried cheese in a pub,” ČSSD head Jiří Paroubek, who calls himself a fan of opera, wrote in a reaction to a commentary published in Mf Dnes that connected the popularity of the musical duo (whose fans are mainly middle-aged and older) with the preferences of Social Democratic voters. “I’m not sure whether it’s the old age, loss of memory, isolation, or Freudian complex when you hurt most of all those who were supporting you,” ODS Deputy Head Ivan Langer said on Sunday in reaction to President Václav Klaus’s criticism of Mirek Topolánek’s cabinet in Lidové noviny from the previous day. The president had said that Topolánek’s government gave in the most to lobbyist pressures of all post-1989 Czech governments.

>>> “I have been actually green for all my life. I was green before Bursík was born,” the former President Václav Havel said on Monday at a press conference where he officially supported the candidates of the Green party for the elections to the European parliament. The official campaign for the elections started this Wednesday. About one fifth of Czech voters (22%) are not at all interested in showing up at the polls, while 37% have not yet decided, according to a STEM poll from the same day.

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