Compact archive January 9, 2009

Activists hung the EU flag in front of Klaus's window

The first try of hanging up the EU flag was only virtual. The second one was real. The Greenpeace activists first projected the EU flag on the Prague Castle virtually, this yesterday evening however they put a real flag there. Not even the Castle guards managed to stop them.

President Vaclav Klaus refuses to let the EU flag on ‘his’ castle, still the blue flag with yellow stars appeared there. A few minutes later, however, the police have cleared the whole courtyard. A man with red jacket staid on the top of the pole, other five Greenpeace members have unfolded a banner saying “Klaus harms the climate, Czech Chairmanship can help”

It was probably intended as a memento to the euro-skeptical politicians, one of the aims of Czech Chairmanship are negotiations about nature protection.

The Australian Pink Floyd Show

The Australian revival musicians want to bring The Wall back to memory, awaking the legendary album which was published thirty years ago, and the music from it couldn’t be heard so compact for 25 years. The second February is the day, on which the organizers promise the big show; “Fascinating, new production full of animations, pictures, lasers, sound light effects and inflatable surprises”.

The Australian Pink Floyd Show play since 1988 and as the only revival of the group they could enjoy attention of the original Pink Floyd Band. The singer and guitarist of Pink Floyd have invited them in 1996 to his own 50th birthday party. Tickets start at 690 czk and reach up to 1390 czk. That the group still attract attention prove that on 1st May the opera of the PF basskytarist Roger Waters called Ca Ira, inspired by Great French Revolution will take place on a special scene on Vltava River.

Pink Floyd revival in Prague, 2nd February 2009 at HC Sparta Arena.


Putin Shows the Real Russia: Gas Stopped

Serious contract relationship with Russia we all take for granted shakes. But this situation is not new – it repeats almost every winter; concerning Ukraine, Belorussia or now a significant part of Europe, creating the picture of complete unreliability. We, as consumers, at the end don’t need to know, what is behind it, if it is an effort of Moscow to check Kiev, or Kiev effort to check Moscow, or Russian effort to divide Europe. All we want to know, whether the contracts about gas work or not. And Russia does everything to demonstrate, what the reality and risks of this relationship are.

It this world, where Israel fights in Gaza, Saudi Arabia warns against oil embargo towards the Jewish state, the more to Europe! So the question, which source of gas is less secure, was well answered by Putin. The other question is, who wants to hear the answer in our country. If somebody wasn’t moved by Russian actions against Georgia, this probably won’t shake him any more. For the rest, Putin’s stressing with gas is only one of many proofs Russia is not a serious partner at all.


Gas cheaper, Taxi not in Prague

Fuels are at its minimum of the last four years, production cheapens automobiles, but taxis are still at those 28 czk for a kilometre. And it is not quite realistic to think it will get cheaper. Probably the whole year price is going to be the same as in January 2007, when gas was about 10 czk more expensive than now. Maybe a good news is that at least the Prague City Hall won’t allow the price to go higher.

Last year in summer, a litre of gas was 36 czk, today a litre of Natural 90 can be bought even under 21 czk. Even when there is the huge discount, it is not possible for the town hall to move the price.

Taxi drivers themselves are definitely not going to discount, as they ‘heal’ after last year season, when the City Hall promised to increase the fee to 32/km, but in the end it staid the same. Taxi drivers now feel the price is not only adequate, but low. You should choose of the companies, which won’t abuse you are not a Czech.


Financial Times: Klaus resembles Svejk

From all the Czech national heroes, the Czech President Klaus resembles, with his bizarre aversion against the authorities and by the shape of his head, the Good Solider Svejk the most. At least the leader of Brussels branch of the Financial Times Tony Barber says so on the blog part of the Times.

Klaus has turned away from conventions, when he demonstrated his disgust towards the Lisbon treaty and European institutions reform, which are documents Barroso and most of political leaders are deeply devoted to.

“… Klaus is not Vaclav Havel, his presidential ancestor … he is not the medieval martyr Jan Hus nor Tomas Garrigue Masaryk, the founder of Czechoslovak state, whose statue was behind Klaus when he held a speech from the Castle. Klaus resembles somebody completely different. Klaus is a smart guy, but by his bizarre aversion against the authorities, feeling of solidarity towards the small players and his head shape, he is the version of the Good Solider Svejk of the 21st Century” Barber closes.