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Last week’s events: 22-28 May

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>>> Out of 50 largest retails in the country, Czechs spend most money in Tesco last year, according to a ranking compiled by Incoma Research agency published on Tuesday. “We’ve indeed recorded an increased demand for eggs today,” a shop assistant from Tesco at Smíchov told Lidové noviny on Wednesday. Hundreds of eggs have landed on Jiří Paroubek (now commonly dubbed ParoubEgg) and other ČSSD members at the pre-election meeting near the Tesco store at Anděl on Wednesday. “It’s disgusting. You have no arguments,” Paroubek was trying to calm down the crowd, while resisting by far the most severe egg attack (see the Prague Monitor SLIDESHOW and the video from the meeting on HERE). Central Bohemia Regional Governor David Rath was the only party member shielding himself with an umbrella in party colours. Organizers have estimated that damage caused by egg throwers would amount to CZK 500,000, Právo reported on Thursday.

>>> “An ordinary egg has paralysed the Czech political scene”, read a subhead in the daily Mladá fronta Dnes that called its Wednesday issue the “Big egg edition”. On Tuesday, police refused to provide special protection to ČSSD pre-election meetings which the party had asked for in a letter addressed to the Interior and Prime Ministers in an effort to prevent further egg throwing that had accompanied its earlier meetings. Paroubek’s bodyguards used force against two peaceful demonstrators dressed as Martians at the party’s campaign meeting in Litoměřice on Monday. President Václav Klaus has called the egg attacks a threat to democracy.

>>> A new swimming pool for seals that should evoke the shores of South America was open on Saturday in Prague’s ZOO. A brown bear has been seen by three locals in central Moravia recently. The dreaded swine flu virus has come to Prague from New York with a Czech pilot who is now in home quarantine.

>>> Former Finance Minister Miroslav Kalousek definitely confirmed to Hospodářské noviny on Thursday he was leaving KDU-ČSL. Kalousek’s new centre-right party, which will come into existence after the European elections, will be called TOP 09, Rádio Česko reported last week. One of the seven logos that Kalousek said he had registered for the party, a blue-yellow one with two roofs or mountain tops above the party’s name, was published on Tuesday.

>>> Consumption of vodka and rum in the Czech Republic has almost doubled since 2004. Consumption of dairy products in the Czech Republic has fallen last year for the first time since 1997. Brewery Budějovický Budvar announced the launch of its new 11-degree beer Pardál Echt on Wednesday. Czech media reported on Monday that police will tolerate one beer with drivers. However, the report was denounced by the traffic police chief the same day who said no presence of alcohol in blood will be tolerated. The 10-day Czech Beer Festival kicked off last Friday at Prague’s Letňany Exhibition Centre.

>>> Construction of some of Prague’s biggest projects such as the Blanka tunnel, the northwestern section of the Prague ring road and the new metro D line will be delayed due to a funding shortfall, Hospodářské noviny reported on Monday. The city’s candidature for holding the 2020 Olympics is also uncertain due to lack of finances. Prague’s Opencard project, which enables users to pay for transport and library services has cost some CZK 800 million so far without returning a profit, the daily E15 reported on Tuesday.

>>> Tuesday was the first day in 2009 when temperatures climbed over 30C. During thunderstorm that hit the country on the same day the lightning struck 92,000 times and in some places up to 60 litres of water per square metre poured from the sky. Insurance companies have been reporting hundreds of insurance events worth millions of Czech crowns.

>>> ČSSD website has been attacked by hackers, reported. Already three surveys within the past week have shown that ODS would win the elections to the European Parliament, were they held now.

>>> Prague police arrested dozens of supporters of the Workers Party on Sunday who were protesting the Czech Radio’s decision not to broadcast the far-right party’s advertisement. Barbed wire that was to protect the prospective site of the US radar base in Brdy from Greenpeace activists has been removed by the Czech army.

>>> The top Czech steelworks ArcelorMittal is going through the most complicated period in its 60 years of existence. It is now using only 35-45% of its production capacity.

>>> “There will be no Nazi saluting in Czechia,” said the judge Miroslav Čapek from Teplice court who sent two young men to jail for 18 and 6 months for saluting before a Nazi flag. A school director of two Prague primary schools has been accused of possession and distribution of child pornography. A primary school that will educate children according to the method of scientology will be established in Brno, the weekly Týden wrote on Monday.

>>> Susan Boyle, who moved the whole world with her performance at the song contest Britain’s Got Talent, will come to the Czech Republic to record with the Czech national symphony orchestra in summer, Mladá fronta Dnes reported on Friday. Prague has been recording an increasing number of Czech and homosexual tourists, Mf Dnes quoted the Czech Tourism agency on Tuesday.

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