June Editorial

Eva Střížovská 6 2012 Slovo redakce English

There are two news.

Today I have two good news even though one of them is basically gruesome. Here it is: I think all of you have been following the case of Dr. David Rath, a former hetman and collector of various functions in Central Bohemia. The good news: The House of Representatives released him yesterday for judicial prosecution. He arrived in the House of Representatives dressed in an elegant suit accompanied by three plain-clothed policemen. The policemen were armed-which is against the law in the House … but it was very hard to decide how to satisfy Dr. Rath’s right to defend himself, i.e. how he could explain previous events to his colleagues - the parliamentarians. It has never happened before that members of the police would bring a prisoner to the House.

As to his speech: It took almost an hour and it was quite self-assured. The doctor emphasized that he was a victim of political and police conspiracy. He complained that he had not been treated correctly in jail, that they wanted to “break” him, and he attacked everybody who was and is involved in his case. He claimed that the basis of his arrest was a lie ..i.e. that he was caught with a seven million bribe for an overpriced order to repair the Bustehrad castle plus with ten more millions and some weapon in his house. In addition he pointed correctly to other corrupt happenings like Promopro (Department of Defense) or Opencard (Prague Town Council under Mayor Bem). Mr. Bem recently achieved notoriety - his conversations with lobbyist Janousek were wiretapped and it turned out that Janousek had basically decided where and to whom the stolen money from other overpriced orders would go. Let us hope that the police will act equally forcefully in those other cases. However I think that the social democrats will look for and bring to light corrupt behavior in the leading party, especially in the ODS, and that they will in turn do that to the social democrats - which would be o.k.

However, I am very cautious even in this situation - remembering the so-called “opposition agreement” between those two opposing parties. A few years ago those two joined together and divided the trough very nicely amongst themselves…

The other good news: The Ministry of Foreign Affaires again awarded the Gratias Agit Prizes. Karel Schwarzenberg awarded twelve such prizes on June 1 at the Cernin Palace to people who promoted the Czech Republic abroad. Appreciation was also expressed to friends of the Czech Republic who promote Czech culture without compensation in addition to their usual professions. Those included were linguists, translators, scientists, artists and educators.

The meeting in the Cernin Palace was lovely as usual. Mr. Schwarzeberg had a short speech to all and then spoke briefly with each of the honorees. Refreshments were served at the close.

We will tell you more about all the prize recipients on our website later. Today we are bringing you at least a photograph of Sylva Berkova, a patriotic activist from Argentina.

Translated by Marie Dolanska

Vydavatelem Českého dialogu je Mezinárodní český klub

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jeja.cz 2012