Czech and Global Events from the Fourth Quarter

The New Presence: The Prague Journal of Central European Affairs, Autumn 2009 | Go to article overview

Czech and Global Events from the Fourth Quarter


* 1. 9. European Union European leaders commemorate the victims of the Second World War on the 70 anniversary of the conflict's beginning. The date also marks the inception of an EU-wide ban on importing or manufacturing 100-watt incandescent light bulbs. The ban is part of a project meant to replace incandescent bulbs with energy efficient compact fluorescents.

* 8. 9.-20. 9. Russia and Belarus Russia and Belarus stage a series of war games for training security and law enforcement troops with the professed aim of maintaining stability in the region. The presence of Russian troops in Belarus is met with protests; over a dozen protestors are arrested and charged with hooliganism.

* 8. 9. Venezuela and Belarus Hugo Chavez, the president of Venezuela, visits Belarus and meets with President Lukashenko in Minsk. The two presidents discuss bilateral cooperation.

* 11. 9. Moldova The leader of the Communist Party and president of Moldova, Vladimir Voronin, resigns from the presidency after eight years in power.

* 11. 9. Croatia and Slovenia In a meeting between Prime Minister Jadranka Kosor of Croatia and Prime Minister Borut Pahor of Slovenia, Pahor announces that Slovenia will cease to block Croatia's EU accession. Slovenia has maintained the blockade on account of a border dispute over the Gulf of Piran.

* 12. 9. Poland The Polish government celebrates its twentieth anniversary of democracy in post-war Poland. On this day the first noncommunist government came to power with the democratic elections of Prime Minister Tadeusz Mazowiecki.

* 15. 9. Russia The president of Russia, Dimitry Medvedev, accuses the United States of "blocking" Russia's entry into the World Trade Organization on account of some "supposed" disagreement between himself and Prime Minister Vladimir Putin.

* 17. 9. United States, the Czech Republic, and Poland US President Barack Obama announces that his administration will scrap the Bush administration's missile defense plan, which would have placed ten missile interceptors in Poland and a radar system in the Czech Republic. The Obama administration presents a new plan, which will use proven technology to guard against short and medium-ranged missiles. The decision does not come as a surprise to the leaders of Poland and the Czech Republic who remain optimistic though cautious, and is greeted with appreciation from Russian President Medvedev.

* 19. 9. France and the Czech Republic French President Nicolas Sarkozy castigates the Czech Republic and President Klaus for delaying the Lisbon Treaty. Sarkozy warns that the country will pay the "consequences" if President Vaclav Klaus refuses to sign the EU treaty.

* 20. 9. Russia Russia drops its yearlong threat to place short-range Iskander missiles in Kaliningrad, a Russian city north of Poland and bordering the European Union. The decision reflects Russia's first concrete response to US President Obama's decision to drop the Bush-era missile defense plan.

* 20. 9. Congo The Democratic Republic of Congo sends Gregoire Ndahimana (the former mayor of Kivumu, Rwanda) to the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR) located in Arusha, Tanzania. Ndahimana is accused of massacring at least 2,000 Rwandan Tutsis and is considered to be one of the key figures behind the 1994 genocide.

* 21. 9. Slovakia and Hungary The Prime Ministers of Slovakia and Hungary meet and come to an 11-point agreement to amend Slovakia's contentious language law, which passed on 30 June and introduced fines for the grammatical misuse of Slovak. With a strong Hungarian minority living in Slovakia, the Hungarian government condemned this law as discrimination.

* 21. 9. Honduras Three months after the military coup which overthrew him, President Manuel Zelaya returns to Honduras.

* 24. 9. G-20 The G-20 summit commences in Pittsburgh, USA, as two-dozen world leaders descend on the Steel City, which has received recent media attention as an exemplar of economic recovery after the steel industry waned in the 1980s. …

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