Dismal weight loss

Věra Jourová is a beautiful woman who became the darling of the nation only after a few months as a minister. But there is something predating her smile and airiness, something we would not like to interchange with her: prison. However, it is an experience that gave her unprecedented power to life.

Dismal weight loss

Věra Jourová, the Deputy Minister for Regional Development in 2006, was a little plump. She was sitting in the office without any motion and although without overeating - the figure showed the change. The needle on the scale oscillated around eighty kilos and then the weight fell quickly down.

Did you start to lose weight by a controlled manner?

No, I didn´t. I was in the prison for a month, where I lost thirteen kilos and I lost five kilos week before, on a trip abroad, where I got information that something was wrong at home and I'm being dragged into it. I returned home skinny, with greyish skin and lifeless. My boyfriend was crying, he liked the plump woman full of life and I came back as a total wreck...

I'm sorry for the previous naïve question. Of course I know that you were unjustly accused, but I had no idea that your story of weight loss is associated with an experience such as prison. What happened with you and with your weight after that?

Somehow I managed to keep the weight but I started gaining weight again after some time. I knew that I wouldn't get a decent job after this scandal, but I had a mortgage and two children at school. In addition, my seventeen years old daughter got severe depression from the shock of my arrest and it physically paralysed her. She stopped walking. It took four months to literally get her up on her feet again.

And what about you?

I started daily studies at the Faculty of Law at Charles University. I had my matriculation exactly one year after my arrest. I was crying in the assembly hall because I knew that I finally bounced from the bottom and I could raise my price in the labour market.

How did you live on?

I did projects for some Eastern European countries which used my experiences from the government. I worked specifically for Romania, Montenegro and Macedonia. I did most of the projects for Romania. The final year of studies was very, very difficult. I was already 47 years old. I had to concentrate on studies and I could not earn money. I started gaining weight quickly from sitting in front of a computer in combination with the stress from exams and from the lack of money. Without the help of my friends I would not handle it, because I lived on the debt.

Do you use your knowledge from the university? Why did you not study externally?

The Faculty of Law at Charles University cannot be studied remotely. Do you ask me if I use the knowledge from the school? Certainly, I do. I wouldn´t go into politics without legal training and I would not accept a high position in government. I know the laws and I know what to avoid or what I have to be careful about. I think the legal awareness of people in our country is very small. The people don´t know the laws. I finally know them and I am surer in politics and also in my life.

Can you give any examples?

For example, I don´t accept any fundamentally valuable gifts. I recently celebrated 50th birthday and one company sent me expensive branded scarf as a gift. It was in my office for about two minutes and then I sent the scarf back to the address of the company that sent it. Another thing I am careful about - in fact, I don´t have to be careful because I don´t do it - are meetings outside the office. All my appointments and meetings take place fundamentally in my office. Thanks to the experiences from my studies, I listen more to young smart people, because I was surrounded by them. Thanks to the experiences from prison I notice the problems of the homeless more. I know how a person gets to the bottom, when he suddenly loses his job, family or health. In autumn 2006 I lost suddenly a job and I endangered my family and the health of my daughter. For example when I go to Brussels, I leave my car to voluntary social workers who want to improve the situation of gypsies and displaced people in North Moravia. Those social workers do voluntarily things that we don´t appreciate it normally.

How was your physical condition after studying the rights?

It was bad. I looked like eighty kilos heavy ball. I was tired woman with a second university degree.

But now you look well...

I simply started jogging right after my graduation. At first I could run only for a few hundred meters, but gradually my condition improved and now I run four or five kilometres. I try to jog at least twice a week. This year I spent the holiday with my son and his family in Italy - I have a one year old grandson. Together with my son we ran every morning barefoot on the beach. It was perfect for my condition.

How is it possible that after such a trauma and scam by your colleagues are you able to trust the people again and let yourself out there, into a public life?

I am what I am, I trust people, I believe that with sufficient legal background I am able "to guard myself" in terms of potential pitfalls. I just cannot stand by not getting involved in public affairs.

You have good language skills what is not usual per say in your generation peers...

My parents founded in Třebíč folk ensemble, in which I danced and sang. We travelled with the show to the west long before 1989 and I suddenly got bothered by the fact that I cannot speak with my friends from other folklore ensembles. Therefore I focused on learning to speak English and I remained studying it for a long time.

Do you miss something in life?

I really miss my mother.

What was actually Věra Jourová accused of

Police included Vera Jourová between the parties fraudulently obtaining money (accused: Chief of the Cabinet of Prime Ministers Zdeněk Doležal, Budišov mayor Ladislav Péťa, an official of the Ministry of Agriculture Miloslav Řehulka) from European funds, because of overestimating repairs of Budišov castle by 30 million and repairs of castle Třebíč by 42 million . Věra Jourová was suspected of bribe of 2 million crowns based on hidden camera recordings (accused were talking about 2 million to a woman named Věra). The result of the whole investigation was a statement: There is no doubt that Věra Jourová committed no crime.

During the detention of Věra Jourová (13.10. 2006- 11.11. 2006), unknown suspects robbed her appartment as well as her bank account.

Text: Marta Csontosová

More articles with spa, wellness, rehabilitation, health and HR themes you will find in WELLNESS MAGAZINE 40+ my generation and on www.abcwellness.cz or www.mojegenerace.cz.

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