Compact archive August 3, 2006

Holocaust victims will have new retirement home in Prague

The construction of the new retirement home has started this July. It should take approximately one and a half years before the home can welcome the first of its sixty clients. The construction may be delayed, though. The potential cause of the time-delay may be the problems with the past of the company, which received the commission for the construction.

The home is being built by Hochtief VSB – a Czech company founded after the second World War. Nevertheless, a couple of years ago the company became a Czech branch of the largest German construction company Hochtief. This firm reportedly took part in Nazi building projects during the war. This is by some seen as unacceptable given what the future clients experienced during the second World War.

Ancient history in Prague

Dolni Brezany, village located very close to Prague, was according to the latest discoveries inhabited during prehistoric times. Archaeologists found here tiny pieces of ceramics decorated with small straight engravings. A part of a house as well as stones used for corn grinding were also among the discovered historical relics. This means that Dolni Brezany were one of the oldest agricultural areas during the neolithic times. Discoveries also included remains of the primeval Celtic settlement and an axe.

Another piece of ancient history can be seen in the very centre of Prague – in the National Museum. The museum bought from private collection namely Greek vase Lutroforos. This valuable vase was used during wedding rituals as well as when unmarried people were being buried. It required lots of restoration works but can be now seen in the museum exhibition.


"Kolo pro zivot" - "Bike for life"

“Bike for life” is a descriptive translation of a name of one cyclists’ race. It will take place on this Saturday (5th August). Both the start and the finish are in Prague Chuchle – the famous Prague horse racecourse that celebrates its one hundredth anniversary. As a part of the programme the children will be able to go for a ride in a horse-drawn carriage.

The cyclists will have to overcome on their mountain bikes about sixty kilometres on the route between Prague, Karlstejn with its gorgeous medieval castle and the racecourse again. The participants will cycle through lovely nature in protected natural reserves.

Chuchle – Karlstejn is only one of many races under “Bike for life”, which has been organising races for the past three years. Altogether fifty thousand cyclists brought their bikes to starts.

Even though the electronic registration, which was filled by 750 participants, has been closed, it is still possible to register at the place and the cost is 500 crowns – you can choose between Friday evening (17 – 21 o’clock) or the day of the race (07 – 10 o’clock). The race itself starts at 11 o’clock and one of its participants should be Radim Korinek, who took part twice in the Olympic Games.


Skoda Auto has record profits

The biggest Czech firm Skoda Auto increased its profits by amazing sixty per cent compared with the first six months of the last year. Its profits were 6.4 bn crowns whereas the profit for same period in the year 2005 was under 4 bn. The profits spiral upwards not only thanks to more sales (13 per cent) but also due to successful cost cutting. Total earnings exceeded one hundred bn crowns which makes Skoda’s shareholders very happy.

The best selling cars are Octavia and Fabia but the new model Roomster also experiences better entrance onto the market than was expected.

The success of the automobile maker is attributable mainly to demand from the west such as from its biggest market – Germany. Skoda expects more orders from this area due to the increase in German value added tax next year. This may make people bring forward their purchase of a new vehicle.

The increased car production is not only a feature of Skoda Auto but also of other firms. With the planned construction of the new South Korean Hyundai factory in the Czech Republic economists predict that automobile industry may form up to one quarter of Czech industry altogether within four years. This development is sometimes criticized as a sign of industry being too concentrated which makes it vulnerable in the case of unexpected changes in the market conditions.

Greenpeace and their "direct dialogue"

There is a quite a high likelihood that whilst walking down Prague streets or being in metro stations you may be stopped by a young person wearing a blue T-shirt with the word Greenpeace written on it. The reason is the ninth year of the project “direct dialogue” organised by this international ecological organisation.

The organisation wants to protect the environment and the variety of species on Earth. They also stress their political independence and to retain this status they do not receive any financial support from the firms or from the state institutions. The project “direct dialogue” is thus one of the ways to discuss the problems of the environment and to get some financial support from the public. The project will last till the end of the month September.


Romantic musical Thursdays in Prague Zoo

Prague Zoo prepared for these holidays a very varied and interesting programme. After yesterday’s fathers’ day, there is also another additional reason for a visit to the zoo today – or more precisely tonight. The visitors can namely enjoy a concert of Klezmerim band that is to take place in the educational centre of the zoological garden. You may know the band because of their Prague Klezmerim album.

The name of the band, Klezmerim, is derived from Hebrew and means musicians. Their music is purely instrumental and the instruments are the piano, violin, clarinet and the contra bass. The musicians in the audience would also recognise the sound of the guitar and percussion.

The concert represents the highlight of the evening but the pleasant atmosphere can be further strengthened by a poetic walk through the dusky garden with romantic lighting.