Compact archive December 11, 2006

Czech music awards Cesky slavik

The biggest music event in the Czech Republic, Cesky slavik (Czech Nightingale) Awards, took place in Prague State Opera last Saturday.

These awards are given every year to the best singers and a band in the Czech Republic. Cesky slavik awards do not represent the opinion of music experts but of ordinary people who send their votes to their favourite music star. In recent years the event was visited by several music stars, such as Vanessa Mae or Kurt Nilsen.

The best male singer 2006 is Karel Gott popular also abroad who got this prize for 32 times. The best female singer is for the second time the winner of music competition Superstar (Czech version of Pop Idols), Aneta Langerova. The best Czech band is Divokej Bill.

The extend of corruption in the Czech Republic

According to the survey of Gallup International conducted for Transparency International 17 percent of Czech people gave somebody a bribe in the last 12 months. That is even more than in Russia, Philippines, Pakistan, India or Thailand. The average in the European Union is 2 percent.

Global Corruption Barometer 2006 is a public opinion survey that explores the extend of corruption through the eyes of ordinary citizen around the world. Among the world’s least corrupt countries are Finland, Iceland and New Zealand, the most corrupt country is Haiti.

Czech people think that the most corrupt institute is police and political parties. 40 percent of Czech people do not believe in the efficiency of government’s measures against corruption. 21 percent of Czech people think that the government does not fight the corruption, 21 percent think that the government even supports it.

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When (not) to pay the penalty on the bus?

If you travel in Prague, the fastest way is to use metro and trams. If you take a bus, you should be prepared that it might be delayed. And even tens of minutes. It is caused by traffic jams in the city.

But what if the bus is delayed and your ticket is therefore not valid any more? And the ticket inspector claims that you have to pay a penalty? According to Tomas Jilek from Prague Public Transit Co. Inc by buying the tickets you accept the contract conditions. However, the timetable is a part of the contract. If the bus is delayed, the inspector has no rights to penalize you. It is the Prague Public Transit who broke the contract, not you.

If the ticket inspector still insists you to pay the penalty after you have explained it was not your fault do not pay the penalty immediately. You can write to the Prague Public Transit company and explain the situation. When they verify your statement, the penalty will be forgiven.

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Prague airport launches websites in German language

German speaking travellers can open new web sites of Prague International Airport Ruzyne in German language. The airport responds to the increasing number of passangers to/from German speaking countries – Germany, Austria and Switzerland.

There were about 1,4 million passengers to/from these countries in the first ten months 2006 which is 11% more than at the same time last year. There will be even more flights between Czech and Swiss capitals – from 46 flights to 86 flights a week.

The websites are now available in three languages: Czech, English and German. Travellers can find there up-to-date information about arrivals and departures, an online map of terminals, an interactive map of destinations and many others additional services.

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More tourists in Prague at the end of the year

More than 200 000 tourists are estimated to come to Prague at the end of the year. There will be about 3% more tourists than the last year. More than 60 000 visitors will spend Christmas in Prague, about 100 000 will celebrate the New Year’s year there. The demand for hotel rooms is much higher than the capacity of Prague hotels.

Most tourists are expected from Germany, Great Britain, Italy, the Netherlands, France, the USA and Russia. There will be about 350 000 tourist in the whole Czech Republic.

Tourist going to Prague for Christmas cannot expect “white Christmas”. According to the weather forecast, it will be more likely rainy and temperatures about zero. Similar weather can be expected for New Year’s Eve.

A big show broadcast live by commercial TV company Nova is planned for the New Year’s Eve on Wenceslas Square. This show will be for free and accessible only for people who will come without guns, pyrotechnics and drinks in glass bottles. The organizers still need to get a licence for the show.