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Czech Republic's Tony Blair Takes On Teknivals

Author: Jonty Skrufff
Saturday, August 7, 2004
Hundreds of Czech riot police broke up a massive Teknival free party this week, after 15,000 revellers gathered outside Bonenov, Tachov for what had become an annual event in the Czech Republic.

Initially police reportedly negotiated with partygoers before seizing some mixers, prompting disorder which in turn lead to police firing teargas. Cops later issued several ultimatums to the crowd ordering them to leave, which most people obeyed, leaving the last several hundred to file out through police lines this Wednesday (five days after the party begun).

"The police were ordered to stop the party by our new Prime Minister Stanislav Gross, Skrufff's Czech correspondent Jana Komankova explained.

"The big difference this year compared to previous ones is that the police said they will not tolerate illegal parties anymore," she continued, "and the prime minister's order to stop the party probably played a big role in that decision."

34 year old Stanislav Gross became the Czech Republic PM just two weeks previously and according to the Guardian 'models himself on Tony Blair and Bill Clinton, (being) renowned for his charm, his persuasiveness, and his talent for being all things to all people'.

And judging by local press reports, the former train driver also appears to share Tony Blair's appetite for Puritanism, and is seeking to outlaw free parties altogether.

"The new approach to these parties is necessary because of our entry into the European union", Gross' press person Vera Duskova told local news server iDNES.

"Up until now the police tactics have always been to follow the path of least resistance but that policy has now finished," she confirmed.

"Reports on the ground suggest the sound systems are moving on to Romania to the Transylvanian Alps and then possibly on to Bulgaria," Jana concluded.

"The party scene seems to be moving eastwards."