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Former Czech Leader Pelted With Eggs ... Again


The former Czech Prime Minister and chairman of the Social Democrats party Jiri Paroubek has been left with egg on his face, once again.

At a rally in Prague yesterday, he was pelted with hundreds of eggs. Expecting the eggy onslaught, his aides even thoughtfully brought umbrellas, although didn't seem to be doing a very good job of shielding Paroubek.

Some background from AFP:

Paroubek, 56, fell out of favour in particular with young Czechs when, as the country's prime minister, he backed the police for breaking up a youths' techno party in 2005.

The Social Democrats, whose no-confidence vote toppled Mirek Topolanek's cabinet midway through the Czech EU presidency in late March, lead in opinion polls together with Topolanek's Civic Democrats, each receiving about 28 percent support.

The egg wars broke out two weeks ago when two men in a town near Prague threw tomatoes and eggs at Paroubek, starting a series of attacks.

Last week, a man in another town put a boxful of eggs on the stage in front of Paroubek, saying: "Here you are, at least we won't have to throw them."

The furious politician kicked the box off the stage, hitting a few of his supporters, according to the denik.cz news site.

It seems there is no escape from the egg-throwers. A Facebook group, "An egg for Paroubek in every town," is mushrooming, with over 40,000 members.

Despite the spurious parallels that have been made between the egg-throwing and attacks on social democracy in 1930s Germany, the eggers appear to have the upper hand: Paroubek cancelled his remaining engagements yesterday.

-- Luke Allnutt

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Written by RFE/RL editors and correspondents, Transmission serves up news, comment, and the odd silly dictator story. While our primary concern is with foreign policy, Transmission is also a place for the ideas -- some serious, some irreverent -- that bubble up from our bureaus. The name recognizes RFE/RL's role as a surrogate broadcaster to places without free media. You can write us at transmission+rferl.org

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