Compact archive October 5, 2007

Pavel Bem, Prague Mayor

Prague Mayor Pavel Bem Mudr. Pavel Bem (born 1963 in Prague) is the Lord Mayor of the Capital City of Prague, reelected 2006. In 2006, he was also elected a Deputy Leader of the ODS (Civic Democratic Party).

Pavel Bem studied medicine at Charles University in Prague, specializing in psychiatry and subsequently devoted most of his medical career to the treatment of drug addiction. He served on a government anti-narcotics commission.

A member of the Civic Democratic Party, since 1998 he has been the mayor of the 6th district of Prague, and since 2002 has become the mayor of the entire city of Prague. Skilled in dealing with media, he presents himself as a “hands-on reformer” and a “sportsman” (On May 18th 2007, Bem fulfilled his “boyhood dream” of reaching the peak of Mt. Everest).
Prague Mayor Pavel Bem on Everest
When asked if he will move to the posh mayor’s residence in the centre of Prague, he said he had not considered the possibility for a single minute.

The following passage is based on an interview given for Krajske Noviny in 2005

Your original profession is Psychiatry. Are you in touch with it now?

“Yes, I am. I read the specific literature, I lecture, and I try to keep in touch with clinic practice. The reason for it is simple – I think a politician should not stick to his function too much, so he could come back to what he can do the best. It gives great freedom.”

The general public started to recognize you after you started to work as the general secretary of the Anti-drug committee of the Czech Republic. Does your liberal attitude to the Drug abuse changed over the years in politics?

“I was labeled as a liberal by media in the first place. They call me so, because I always declare drug addicts shouldn’t be criminalized, unless they do any harm to the society. They should be cured, instead. It is more practical and effective approach. And no, I haven’t changed my attitude a bit.”

You were the Mayor of Prague 6, now you are the Mayor of the whole Prague, de facto a commandant. Where is the end of your political ambitions?

The Prague Mayor takes care of 11% of Czech population, 15% of Czech workforce, and 25% of economical strength of the Czech Republic. It is Prague, where the CR gets its 25% GDP. As you can see, the Mayor position is one of the highest executive offices in the country. And no, my ambition is not to be the new leader of ODS (Civic Democratic Party). Prague is a fantastic city and we have lots of work and projects, that need finishing. My place is here.

Czech Government Hesitates with Supporting Olympics

Praha applying city 2016 Olympics The vice prime minister Jiri Cunek conceded the Olympic Games, Prague would like to host in 2016, can be unprofitable. And that the government hesitates with their support. According to his opinion we cannot afford to spend the milliards we need for supporting European funds on the Olympics.

Cunek also added that Prague didn’t ask for the government support, so they can do what they wish, but without any help. According to the words of the Czech Olympic Committee chairman, Milan Jirasek, the city cannot organize the Olympic Games just by itself. “The Government support is one of the criteria. Without government support, either financial or organizational, to organize the Olympics is impossible.” he conveyed to LN.

Pavel Bem told CTK in a short message that there is no need to hurry, and that he prepares the official document for the half of November.

Some of the senators have already lost their patience. “This whole think can end up in an international scandal. How it is possible, that the Prague candidacy was decided just on the basis of a decision of two people? It is an economic concern of the whole country.” Josef Novotny asks, and he thinks of Pavel Bem, and Mr. Jirasek. He reacts on the situation, when they were the only signers of the Candidate List a month ago. They invited the legendary sportswoman Dana Zatopkova, but not the prime minister.

Mayors of town and cities have expressed their discomfort earlier, demanding national referendum, or Prague as the sole financier of the event.


The Race Of The Office Rats = Pencil Pusher Race in Prague

Pencil Pusher Race 2008

The Race Of The Office Rats Pencil Pusher = Kancelarska krysa in Czech (OFFICE RAT)

The Race Of The Office Rats is not only a sporting event, but a social event too. Representatives of different companies and institutions compete in a friendly atmosphere, regardless of whether they are from the private or public sector.

The first three years of this event attracted an incredible amount of interest from competitors, audience and media alike. Last year, 2006, the mayor of Prague, Mr. Pavel Bem, joined in the action as well. Reports appeared in the main daily news broadcasts on all three Czech national TV chanels. There was a huge amount of coverage by radio stations, press and internet medias as well.

The very name of the race itself indicates that the event takes place in a spirit of fun. More importantly, though, the event provides opportunities for informal meetings and team-building. And, of course, the entire competition gives a chance for stressed out office workers to relax and have fun, while at the same time providing amusement for members of the public.

The Race Of The Office Rats features participants who run in their traditional work clothes – men in business suits (jackets and ties) and women in dresses and skirts. Only one exception is allowed – sport shoes. Another essential prop is a mobile phone in one hand and a file folder in the other.

The start and finish of the race is always in the centre of Prague. Traditionally, the Master of Ceremonies oversees the races and competitions from a stage situated in the Fruit Market (Ovocny trh). He also has the right to call the runners on their mobile phones, in order to find their actual locality and physical condition. These phone calls, which are transmitted to the sound system, have become a favourite part of the event.

The categories of the competition are the men´s race, the women´s race and the mixed relay, which is very popular because of the possibilities for „company to company“ skirmishing. In the breaks between the races, there are side competitions such as a file and folder-throwing, a slalom on office chairs, and rope-climbing by the clerks.


165th Anniversary of the Czech Beer Pilsner Urquell

The Day Lager was Born The Day Lager was Born

The well-known Czech lager was made for the first time on 5th October 1842. The main reason was probably the brewing crisis, going as far back as to 15th century. In the city of Pilsen was not only good beer, that was mostly sold away from the city, but much bad beer, sold inside the city. In 1838 it ended in a demonstration, during which citizens of Pilsen emptied 36 beer barrels on the main square. As a consequence, the Mestsky pivovar(City Brewery) was founded.

In 1842, the first brewage of a lager, as we know it today, was made there. Its author was the brewer of German origin, Josef Groll. He combined German advanced technology of brewing, combined with our local ingrediences – unique barley, local hops and soft water. By doing so, he set the basis for the new type of beer, that forms about 2/3 of the world beer production. Pilsen Urquell became the world first international beer.

Of course, the beer preparation came a long way until today. For example, for the quality check was used a simple test – the beer was poured on a bench, and one sit on it, wearing leather pants. If the pants stucked, the beer was considered of a good quality.

Of which quality the Pilsen Urquell beer is today, you can find out in Prague restaurant Kolkovna, where the celebrations of the anniversary take place today, 5th October.

By: Pavla Kozakova


Right-wing extremists' march banned

Officially “a protest against the participation of the Czech Republic on the occupation of Iraq”, this wasn’t probably intended to be so. The organizers were clearly right-wing extremists, and the march was supposed to take place in Prague Jewish town, on the anniversary of 1938 Kristallnacht pogrom.

The Prague authority explained that the announced purpose of the march leads to the incitement to intolerance and hatred against citizens on the basis of their ethnicity, origin and religious conviction, which is one of the legal reasons for banning such an event.

Few days ago, the right-wing extremists have reputedly changed the date from 10th to 17th November, however Jiri Wolf, the spokesman of the city hall announced they haven’t officialy reported any changes. But at the same time, there were actions taken against this group. It ended in a ban of the whole event.

One of the arguments for banning was the organizer Erik Sedlacek’s membership in The National Resistance movement. It is a neonacist organization, that sprung from the Prague branch of militant neonacist organization Blood and Honour. That is a branch of the international neonacist movement based on the superiority of the white race and supports the National Socialism ideology openly.

The ban can be lifted only by a law-suit now.