Compact archive January 13, 2009

Gas still not flowing to the EU, Russia blames Ukraine

The gas crisis is probably not over yet, Russian gas still doesn’t flow to Europe. According to Gazprom the problem is Ukraine, which reportedly block the way of gas to Europe. The ITAR-TASS agency stated Gazprom slowly started to restore the supply of gas, which goes through Ukraine, for European customers. But as no gas arrived, bot the quarrelled sides blame each other for who is responsible for the contemporary situation.

One of the states, who suffers from the Russian-Ukrainian dispute the most is Slovakia. The conflict put their government in front of Sophie’s Choice; either to start the second block of nuclear plant in Jaslovske Bohunice and count with lawsuit from the side of European commission, or to listen to the EK and de facto threaten not only their business, but also their citizens.

Russia ended gas transport last Wednesday 7th January, assuming that Ukrainians have been consuming gas intended for Europe. Situation in some countries is critical, biggest problems have Bulgaria and Moldavia. The crisis is going to accelerate construction of other gas routes from other countries and demonstrates Russian power.


Two New Czech Political Parties

They are new, right-hand and have opposite programmes. The first one is called Strana svobodných občanů (SSO) – the Party of Free Citizens and the second one is Liberálové.cz (LIB) – Liberals.

The SSO programme is against the Lisbon treaty of the EU, also it demands referendum for the question of Euro Adoption.

The first aim of SSO is to succeed in June Euroelections. The new party has a ram on green background in their logo. This animal, according to their chairman Mach symbolises the way to freedom and new beginning. Ram is also resolute and systematic.

The LIB party comes with the idea of forming United European States. They feel there is a great number of liberal-thinking voters, who don’t find an advocate for them.

The Liberals also endorse the ‘new generation’ of politicians, who are devoted to European integration and are not burdened with corruption scandals of the past. LIB also aims to succeeding in elections to the European parliament.

Cunek and Jelinek leave Czech government, change coming?

The promised changes in government the coalition has been talking about are finally going to happen. The vice-prime minister and local development minister Jiri Cunek has announced he leaves all the government seats. goodbye cunek On his post moves the present leader of legislative government committee Cyril Svoboda. The prime minister than withdrew two ODS ministers, Tomas Julinek from health resort and Ales Rebicek from traffic resort.

The leader of the greens Martin Bursik welcomes the development, his party have announced earlier Dzamila Stehlikova is going to be replaced in the cabinet by Michael Kocab on the post of minister of human rights. The political scene has also seen a bonus – yesterday the pro-European Liberalove (Liberals) and euro-Skeptical Svobodni (Free) joined the struggle for votes. The two right-wing parties have completely opposite programmes.

Prague Wine Week festival started yesterday

Yesterday, the first season of the Prague Wine Week started. Wine lovers get a good insight into vinotheques, bars and restaurants, as during the whole week (until 18th January) Prague citizens can wine-taste at various places, make the best of discount or just try suitable combinations of chosen dishes and wines.

In Prague, demand for quality wines rises. Number of quality enterprises come into existence, “…and so the festival came into being to provide wine lovers with possibility of better orientation in the ever increasing supply.”

Forty eight Prague enterprises joined, offering invitations, sales and actions. Some events from the programme are free, other paid. Somewhere it is ok to just come to the company, somewhere it is necessary to reserve one’s place.

At the occasion of Prague Wine Week taking place the bilingual, Czech-English wine guide in Prague was published; it should become the handbook for not only Prague citizens, but for visitors of the metropolis as well. More info at here


Classic ID's may be in the last Czech season

A bell tolls for the paper Ids we are used to in the Czech Republic. So to have one’s personal identification number, family status and address nicely written on a piece of paper in plastic may be history in 2010. The revolution should come with new electronic cards with a chip and four electronic registers, in which the data should be saved.

The government decided on the yesterday meeting, when they supported the proposal of Interior Minister Ivan Langer. The laws, which are a part of Langer’s reform of public service, needs to be passed by the parliament, senate, and signed, but if that happens, 2010 would bring the ‘OP’. “Electronic id card means not only great simplification for a citizen, but also higher security. The public service knows almost everything about us, still it forces us to bring information again and again.” Ivo Brokes from eStat also explains, that the very giving identification number is dangerous, and should not be practiced in the future.

The project of Prague card Opencard works very well. Maybe the 21st century really requires we had our cards equipped with a chip.