Compact archive December 2008

Prague Zoo – another successful year behind

The Prague Zoo just blossoms under Petr Fejk’s lead, nobody can doubt that. In 2008, about 1,2 million visitors passed its gates, which lists it among the most visited in zoo parks Europe again. Prague zoo is among the seven best zoos in Europe, according to Forbes magazine. When you enter the zoo, you automatically contribute to protection of wild animals.

Every year, the park gives us something new. In 2008 it was the very expensive and quality pavilion for gavilas, which are not possible to see anywhere in Europe. In 2009 they plan for example the new exposition of sea lions, sweetshop for families with kids or a lookout tower. It is a students, children, retired and dog friendly enterprise, which improves its services every year.

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Prague Refuses to penalise itself for Charles Bridge Repair

A reconstruction, which is according to specialists messed up, but an outsider can’t recognise there is anything wrong. That is the centre of the dispute, that has been going for half a year now. The reason for reconstruction was the stones were damaged by salting and needed replacement, the reasons for complaint was that too much stones were replaced, also that they have been replaced in a wrong way photos.

The peculiar thing about the case is, the payer of a fine should be the reconstructor, which is the city of Prague, and the receiver of the fine money is the owner of the building, which is Prague city again. Is Prague going to pay itself? We will see. The city took time to think. That the submitter deserves a fine decided the inspection of ministry of culture. According to it, the Prague town hall broke the law, when they didn’t make the necessary documentation for the repair.

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Czech Year 2008

When it is time to pop open the champagne and start to celebrate we survived another year, one wants to balance, what happened the year before. What happened in the Czech Republic in 2008? As a starter, the visas for the USA were abandoned, finally ending one of bureaucratic mambo-jumbos.

Two films touched our hearts – Citizen Havel, introducing the ex-president as human as he is, offering surprisingly entertaining experience. The other film was ONCE, giving us a bitter-sweet insight of lovers, whose love can never be, with the theme song which brought them an Oscar.

Concerning sports, we can’t omit the Olympic gold of Barbora Spotakova in javelin, also the sharpshooter Katerina Emmons who showed beside the sport show with the golden medal at the end also a love story.

The year also presented, in which political direction is the country going to go – ODS presented how far they are from the life which their voters live, and it didn’t pay off. The incoming years will be oriented to the left.

New Year Eve in Prague

Are you in Prague on 31-1st ? What to do in Prague on New Year’s Eve? Well, you can start your evening by making a stop in a restaurant, and than to pop a champagne outside at midnight. It is ok – even when there are some things you should know. There is public drinking ban at some places like Prague Kampa, but that shouldn’t trouble you on that particular day. The most dangerous things are alcohol, pyrotechnics, and cold. So when you feel like drinking straight vodka (I know, it is cheap and has less calories) which may seem like a good idea, just make sure somebody will transport your unconsciousness body back to the hotel.

Pyrotechnics are a notorious – there are regulations, but cheap pieces from Taiwan flooded the market, making it possible for anyone to buy enough firepower for blowing up … what he wants. Sure that the great fireworks above the Prague Castle are a great spectacle everybody (except for dogs) can enjoy, they became less enjoyable, when somebody at Wenceslas square fires it to the crowd.

Cold – there is a great help against cold – climb down to Radost FX, Roxy, Mecca or Karlovy Lazne (better to find out whether they still have tickets before going) and start to party, you can be sure it will be so hot you will soon loose the clothes you can, still being hot.

Anyway, Prague is a famous destination for parties, and I know it can be highly enjoyable, if you just book something in the centre, or you just simply go there and enjoy the atmosphere around. Happy new year!

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  • New Year Eve in Prague [December 30 2008, 11:36 AM]

Prague Tour de Ski – Lucky. It is Freezing

Today, the 09 season of Prague Tour de Ski, ski running competition, starts. Just a few days ago, it seemed the whole competition is threatened by warm weather and lack of snow. But at the night from 25th to 26th December it started to freeze and since the time, the snow cannons are running continuously.

Hundreds of people came to watch the race yesterday. It continues today, and it is expected that the sun is going to pull even more people out of their beds. They didn’t occupied only the tribunes, but also stood by the 650 m long track, going around the whole Prague Exhibition Ground.

The programme wasn’t fun for adults only, there were also performances for kids included. And where is going to go all that mass of snow. Quite probably it is going to end up in neighbour Stromovka, where those in Prague can enjoy it.

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Prague: People shop like Christmas isn't over, sales up to 70 percent

Harvest season for tradesman doesn’t stop. The last weekend resembled looked like it was the weekend before Christmas. Clothes are on sale, up to 70% cheaper, so more people went shopping this year. The Businessmen profited also on the fact there was weekend directly after the Christmas eve. Another wave of discounts is possible to expect in the new year.

If you are looking for the lowest prices, the time comes closer. Some shops resembled a war zone with all that shouting and mess, which the customers leave behind. Shelves looked like if a bomb hit it. Now, we can return to normal shopping. Some of us also go to those more expensive shops to enjoy the sales. For example the boutiques and shops at Wenceslas Square are expensive the rest of the year, so now is the time.

Bem Returned from vacation, claiming he didn't go to Antarctica

Prague mayor Pavel Bem is back form his vacation, which aroused interest of media. According to some information from the Prague Municipal Council he should have been at Antarctica, climbing the top mountain – Mount Vinson there. Bem now – going there. But the source of iDnes.cz claims the opposite.

“I took eight days of vacation, today it is Sunday and I am in work. I went to mountains. I was on vacation, not in Antarctica.” Bem said for CTK.

On the other question, which was “Which mountains did you go to” he didn’t answer, saying that his vacation is only his business. “Rumours are problems of journalists, not me.” Bem added. He is well-known for his love of mountain-climbing, last year he went to Mt. Everest.

Another question Pavel Bem arouses for a long time is, who finances his trips, vacations, housing, or celebrations. For example his huge birthday party in September could have cost up to 500 thousand czk, and when we know the rent in his villa is 324 thousand czk a year, he wouldn’t make it alone with his 86 thousand fee/ month.

Summary of Biggest Prague Events 2008

The year 2008 was very rich for music experience. Not only for returning stars like Chris Rea, Mark Knopfler, Johnny Winter, John Mayall, Nick Cave and Suzanne Vega, but also some first-time shows like those of Alanis Morissette and Jane Birkin, which were nice, but they only fore-run the real bombs, the strongest which exploded in Prague Congress Centre in form of Bobby Mc Ferrin, who needed only a chair and a microphone to make the greatest evening for his audience, who in return surprised him by perfect first voice in the aria Ave Maria.

Another top of the music year war the energetic concert of legendary songster Bob Dylan in the Ostrava CEZ arena. He was in great shape during the concert and it went really well. He sung and played the mouth organ clearly. In a way, he did a better job than his songress colleague Tom Waits, who was sentenced to play in the communist building of Prague Pakul which clearly didn’t fit him. The difference was in energy.

Speaking about energy, R.E.M. at the Eden football stadium in Vrsovice opened a Pandora box of great music played with real enjoyment. Their new album rocks, like their live performances, which undoubtedly is the first league. The year was rich, and the big jewel in form of Leonard Cohen was the humane experience of the year, arousing many great emotions.

Modern Middle-Eurpean art exibition in Prague

Permanent exposition in Museum Kampa introduces the art pieces of significant Czech, Slovak, Polish, Hungarian and Yugoslavian artists, especially the art from the 60’s, 70’s and 80’s, but also the contemporary works. Within the permanent collection, every Tuesday and Thursday since 15 commented visits, you just need to buy a ticked. It is opened daily from 10 to 18 hours.

Museum Kampa now offers the so called informer, which means the educated personnel prepared to lead visitors through the object and answer questions. The service is free of charge. The tickets are 120czk, pensioners and students pay only a half.

Meda Mládek is the organizer who became determined to promote contributions of Kupka to the wider public. In the meantime, she managed to acquire an extensive collection of Kupka’s tableaus and relevant drawings – studies for various large-scale paintings.

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Organizers of Prague ski are happy – it is freezing

Today in Prague, Prague Ski competition starts at Prague Exhibition ground. Just a few days before, the race was seriously jeopardized by warm weather and lack of snow. However during the night from 25th to 26th December snow cannons are running continuously, plus there is also the PolarSnow technology used, which means making the snow using water, compressed air and liquid nitrogen. The biggest advantage is the snow doesn’t have any chemicals inside and so its properties are similar to those of regular snow.

Since 11 am, Prague Exhibition Ground opens an accompanying programme, with concerts of Czech groups like Walda Gang, Gypsy.cz and Support Lesbians. The start of qualification races is at 1 pm. The program continues tomorrow since 10 am by the main race, at 12 the race for the public concurs.

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Merry Christmas From ABC Prague

It has been a long year, during which we have presented approximately 1300 articles on our blog. We tried to map the whole Blob matter, from the beginning, to its bitter end. Also another very closely watched theme is the Radar as a symbol of future development of the CR – with the USA or Russia? Last Christmas, the position of Right-wing government seemed unshakable, now everything is different. We were here and tried to give you all the information you need, and we hope we did good. If the theme is Prague, we inform about it.

Regardless of the world financial crisis, we hopefully stay here until the next Christmas, and so we all here can enjoy the ceremonial evening and to wish you to enjoy it as well. Whether you are in Prague, or at any other place on earth, we wish you peace and calm, and hopefully everything is going to go as planned and wished for. So again – Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

Czech Christmas Eve

Czech Christmas celebrations are concentrated to one evening; the Christmas Eve, forgot the American style when you get the gifts on 25th in the morning.

In the Czech Republic (and Slovakia) the day goes like this: If there is snow outside, one should take something out and start sledging the hills. Than home, and turn the TV on. To watch the fairy-tales! But they must be Czech fairy-tales, as they are among the least violent of prolly all the fairy-tales in the world. All who can must join, and enjoy them.

When the evening comes, there is the time for the ceremonial dinner. It should be a carp, or any other fish with potato salad, served with good beer, or vine. Lite up the candles and talk.

The main phase starts after dinner: There are gifts under the tree! Time to unwrap it, slowly and nicely, and finally marvel at all the things your closest ones gave you, and to enjoy the others unwrapping those you gave to them.

When it is all over, you can finally heave a sigh of relief, and go to sleep, with the nice perspective this circus won’t be back until the next year.

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Various pictures of Jesus' birth in Prague

The exhibition shows Nativity scenes made from various materials, there are various shapes, attitudes, sizes… The Burgrave at Prague Castle is filled with families, and both the parents and kids marvel at the unique pieces. They stare in disbelief at the cute marionette theater, which served as a narrator of Christmas happening more than a hundred years ago. No plasma screen!

Parents wisely nod their heads, when they read the moved history of the unfinished nativity scene, which should have been made for St Vitus chapel, but works on the original were cut off by the WWII and than by the communists in 1948. The spacious piece of art got lost, leaving no clues. The only reminder is its period model, depicting the setting in traditional Czechoslovak clothes and scenery. Only the wizards are in traditional costumes.

If you have a family, you can get a nice ticket for reasonable money. The exhibition looks nice, feels nice and smells nice as well, the energy is really christmas-like. Good for the Christmas spirit boost.

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Prague – No Christmas Snow

Meteorologists warn that snow is going to be a bit of rarity during the Christmas season. Probability of snowing during the holidays have dramatically lowered in the past 100 years. And in the coming tens of years, when the north pole will grow even smaller in size, white Christmas are going to be even rarer. Reuters launched a study in cooperation with German weather institute, finding out that in the lowland-located Berlin are the future generations probably not going to see white Christmas at all, leaving them dreaming about it.

Of course, the chances for snow are different at different places and the elevation above the sea-level and distance to the sea still give hope for Prague there are going to be white Christmas a few times still. But not this year – the temperatures are right above zero. But there is also other reason, beside global warming – as our calendar changed in 1752, Christmas moved 12 days to the earlier date. In January snowing is more common.

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Christmas Carp in Prague Vltava

Those who travel to the Czech Republic to enjoy some of our Christmas spirit, like the concerts in the Old Town, can be surprised, what do all the fish do in the bowls at street corners. A simple answer – they wait for the Christmas Eve to be ceremonially eaten! This old-times tradition is specific. Even when somehow morbid (the carps are often being slaughtered in front of pedestrians) it belongs to the previously mentioned Czech Christmas spirit.

Not all Czechs buy a carp for Christmas, and not all Czechs who buy a carp finally eat it. The complete tradition is the family who buys the carp should kill and cook it by themselves, which is a thing a modern men is mostly not able to execute without heavy mental trauma, resulting in a very new tradition, especially in Prague: ceremonial setting of the carp free. Even when most of the freed carps won’t survive in the fast flowing waters of Vltava, some are going to live long and well as the research proves. Do you want to try it? Buy one, take your dearest, and free it. You will feel good, I promise.

Pussycat Dolls Arrive to Prague

Music-dance group around the 30yo singer Nicole Scherzinger is going on the World tour, and they do not forget to visit Prague at their trip. Prague should hear their biggest hits and actual songs from the new album Doll Domination (published in 2008). on the final version of the tape is also the track When I Grow Up, which was co-produced by such stars as Timbelake, Sean Garrett or R. Kelly. As a bonus, every member of the girls has her own solo track in the bonus part of the album.

Pussycat Dolls let themselves be heard that the fans are going to see what they haven’t seen before. The originally dance group is going to pump up the fan crowd in Tesla arena so hard, there is going to be hot long after they will travel on their tour. Their tour starts this January in Scotland, they are arriving to Prague 21st February 2009 to Tesla Arena.

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Golden Sunday attracted 10 000s Prague citizens to shops

Full parking spots in front of shopping halls, long queues by the cashier desks and tens of thousands of people, trying to buy a gift for their near and dear, this is how the last advent weekend before the Christmas Eve looked like.

That is a classic sight: most of people leave their Christmas shopping for the last moment, and than the shopping centres are swarming with shoppers. The most often bought items are clothes, books, cosmetics and toys. Compared to the last yer, alcohol and money as gifts fell in popularity.

Compared to the previous year, many shops launched sales before the holidays already. For example in Deichmann at Chodov they sell winter footwear 50% cheaper already. Tesco plan sales on 26th December.

Lots of Prague citizens shopped for the gifts much more comfortable way, through the Internet. Czech Post had to, for the central Prague office, take in 200 part-time hands, who were assorting packets for 24 hours a day.

Nativity Scene Prague Exhibition

In the Highest Burgrave of the Prague Castle is a charming exhibition of a few dozens of Nativity scenes from the workshops of old and contemporary Betlemari – ‘Betlehelmers’, including some rare and valuable pieces, taking place. The exhibition shows wooden Nativity scenes, sheet crib views, paper scenes and glass pieces. This year, we can also admire the replica of an old puppet show which entertained audiences more than a hundred years ago.

Nice pieces of Nativity scenes are viable also in various non-traditional forms, like those made from gingerbread, or the one from 30s made of ceramics, originally designed for the st. Vitus Chapel, or some charming woodcarver works. The exhibition is opened daily, including holidays and weekends from 9 to 17 hours. Highest Burgrave of the Prague Castle, lasts until 4th January 2009.

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Prague Public Transport, Sundays 2009: less lines

Travelling in Prague is going to take longer, the day of choice is Sunday. The organizers of Public Transport adjusted the time-tables and so the intervals in Metro are going to be longer of 10 minutes, tramways are going to come once in twenty minutes.

Changes in Public transport in Prague start fourth January, the limitation should be only in period from 8 to 12 hours. The reason is simple – endeavour to economize. Sunday mornings have already proven to be the time, when the least passengers use the public transport.

Intervals at all Metro traces are going to be prolonged to 10 minutes. At the present time the intervals vary among 8,5-3 minutes, depending on the line, now it is going to be 10 minutes everywhere. Sunday tramways so far went every 15 minutes, now it is going to be 20.

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Christmas parking in Prague for Free

If you want to park your car in the streets of Prague in those so called visitors zones, you won’t have to pay for it during the state holiday workdays. Prague representatives have agreed on it yesterday. The system is going to work on all the city parts with payed parking. The changes apply practically to all the parking machines in Prague, with the only exception which is Karlovo namesti (Charles Square).

The Green and Orange Zones offer free parking during weekends, but how it is going to be during the holidays wasn’t clear. Now we know – except for Karlovo Square where the machines need to be fed during weekends and holidays, in the whole Prague it is going to be for free.

The paid zones were introduced in 2007, since than there are debates about problems which come along. The representatives try to seal it by notices, like this one.

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Seznam – Best Czech E-Mail Now without data limits

Since Monday, e-mail mailboxes of the portal Seznam.cz offer unlimited capacity. The luxury can enjoy all those who follow simple instructions. First, you make an e-mail there with the ending email.cz or seznam.cz. Second, you customize it. Third, you follow instructions and send an sms to the number provided (the sms costs about 3 czk). Fourth – you enjoy your infite postbox.

Seznam.cz is the most visited and the oldest Czech Internet portal. It was founded in 1996 by Ivo Lukacocic, when it was also the first Czech catalogue searching server. Since its origin it came through many changes. In the present time, about 2 millions of people visit it daily. It is also the first full-text searching engine made in the Czech Republic. Apart from typical functions, it supports inflections and conjugation, sitemap technology.

Bem probably on his to Antarctica

Prague Mayor and the non-successful candidate for the ODS chairman Pavel Bem is on the way to Antarctia. By beating the local giant Mount Vinson (4892 metres) he would fulfill his dream of climbing all the five highest mountains at five continents.

During the last announced climb to Mount Everest he took two months of unpaid vacation from the town hall, however his absence was criticized from all the sides. Maybe that is the reason why he returned to his previous tactics when he didn’t talk about his expeditions very much.

The speaker of Prague town council Jiri Wolf stated yesterday, that “The Mayor has two weeks of vacation. It is his personal business.” Bem’s wife Radmila said the iDnes server that Bem is ‘at mountains’. But Bem himself stated he would like to head there a year ago.

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Sarkozy Criticized Vaclav Klaus... again

Sarkozy criticized Klaus that he is not able to get over his Euroscepticism and hang a flag of the European Union during the Czech Chairmanship from the Prague Castle. Klaus is the main refuser of The Chairmanship enthusiasm. “We would be hurt, if we saw European flags are not present at all the public buildings of Prague. “ Sarkozy stated.

At the same time Sarkozy criticized Klaus for his negotiations with Euro-parliamentary delegation, which visited Prague two weeks ago. The member of delegation and the leader of the Greens in the European Parliament Daniel Cohn-Bendit brought Klaus a small EU flag, after which a few harsh words followed.

“This is not the way one negotiates with the members of the EU parliament, regardless of what is one’s political involvement. This is not the way the symbols of the EU should be treated” Sarkozy added.

Depeche Mode concert in Prague

Are you a music devotee and a great fan of the Depeche Mode in particular? The Slavia Stadium in Prague, Czech Republic, is hosting a spectacular music event: Depeche Mode will be playing a live concert.

One of the most successful music groups of the present, Depeche Mode, announced terms of their European Tour of the Universe, where Prague is not going to be absent. In Eden, we can look forward on 25th June 2009 for one of the biggest concert events of the future year. The group at the present time work on their new album, which is expected in the next year, to be played live.

Depeche Mode visited Prague for the first time in January 2006 during their last tour Playing the Angel. Their concert in 2009 takes Place in Slavia Eden Station. The only tickets which are possible to buy now are in the platinum quality and cost 3,500 czk.

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Ramsay is a success, but not for 100% in Prague

Ramsay and his 'pet' The Maze restaurant in the Prague hotel Hilton Old Town doesn’t attract enough customers after a year in function. The founder, British chef Gordon Ramsay announced it yesterday on a press conference. Ramsay announced he want s to attract more customers by changes in the menu. The reason for low visit rate is, according to him, the financial crisis and competition.

The restaurant is full from Thursday to Saturday, from Monday to Wednesday it is not so great. “We are going to return to the traditional style and use turnip, potatoes and other simple vegetable.” Ramsay plans to reduce the expensive supplies. Prague restaurant Maze is the 18th enterprise of the famous Scottish chef.

The renowned chef Gordon Ramsay currently holds ten Michelin – stars. Modeled on the concept of Gordon Ramsay’s latest British restaurant, Maze, the restaurant offers a menu of signature tasting dishes.

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Schwarzenberg got high German Badge

The Czech Foreign minister Karel Schwarzenberg gained, from the hands of his German colleague Frank-Walter Steinmeir, a high German state badge, The Great Cross of Distinguished Service Medal of Germany. Karel Schwarzenberg so got the highest German evaluation he could receive as a foreign minister. The great appreciation came as a recognition of his merit in Czech-German relations.

The great cross, which new wearer is the Czech minister, wasn’t given to any Czech personality in the recent years. In the international qualification it is a state decoration of the first degree, higher is only the Great Cross of a special degree, which was given in 2000 to former Czech president Vaclav Havel.

German minister Steinmeier described Schwarzenberg as his friend, and stressed out Schwarzenberg’s life-long effort for overcoming Europe partition.

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Budejovicky Budvar scored in battle for 'Bud' label

Budvar gained a significant victory at the ‘first-class’ court of the European community in the dispute among Budvar and American Anheuser-Bush.

Budejovice Budvar so achieved a significant victory – the court was about whether Bud can register their trademark in Europe, Budvar was logically against.

Other courts, like the OHIM previously denied the objection of the Budejovicky Budvar company with the comment the Bud Label can’t be considered as a name of origin, Budejovicky Budvar tried to prove Bud can be perceived as a shortcut for the name of Czech city Ceske Budejovice, which German version is Budweis.

Budejovicky Budvar succeeded in Luxemburg in the battle for the ‘Bud’ label, the outcome is the only Bud* in Europe should be the Budejovicky Budvar.

Interesting New Prague Bikeline

The new bikeline running from Hlavni Nadrazi to Vysocany should open next year, opening some very new perspectives of Prague, as it would run in the track originally used for railway, which was now cleaned out – it is no longer necessary due to the ultra fast Prague track worth billions. But the bikeline is not cheap – it is going to cost about a few hundreds of millions czk.

The construction is going to go in two phases – in the first one will be only from Hlavni Nadrazi to Krejcarek, in the second phase it should go up to O2 Arena. Krivohlavek from Auto*Mat states that “to build bikelines from the former railway tracks is more than effective, tracks go mostly on flat surface, making biking there nice and easy.

The new bikeline would go through housing, as well as industrial areas, parks, but also through a tunnel, where one even get to a complete darkness, as it turns twice in one point. “It should be adventurous, but not dangerous” says Krivohlavek.

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18 thousands signatures against Communist Party

The new petition which circulates the Czech Republic is a good one. So far, the ‘We do not want to get used to Communists’ petition starts to be renown. The organizers gained more than 18 thousands signatures under it during one month, which lists the petition among the biggest ‘signing hits’. It originated as a reaction on the outcome of regional elections, when to the region managements got the former leaders of the soviet era.

The Social Democracy, which won the regional election, do prop themselves upon communist support in many regions. The name of the petition comes from the quote of Jiri Parouberk, who stated that people should “get used” to comeback of Czech Communists to power. As a matter of fact, most of people still haven’t managed to deal with the crimes communist party did in the past.

Jan Svejnar speaks about Financial Crisis in CR

The Economist Jan Svejnar, who made himself visible at the beginning of the year especially by running for the Czech President, speaks about World Crisis in connection to the Czech Republic. He predicts that the recession is but coming to the Czech Republic and that the country can fight it even for a few years. Svejnar’s key solution is fast Euro acceptation and taxes lowering.

Svejnar says lowering of the laxes of physical companies would compensate by taxes in the fields of realities and consumption. That would help our competitive strength. Concerning Euro acceptation he definitely supports the asap method in 2012. The Euro would help hold the prices on lower level, so limiting pricing. The government should stimulate economic growth by higher investments to infrastructure. Source: LN

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The first Czech-born gorilla celebrated 4th birthday

A Celebration in Prague Zoo took place on Saturday, starting 11am, and it was not a small one. It was four years since the time the Czech Republic witnessed birth of the very first gorilla baby – Moja. To wish her good luck wanted not only crowds of visitors, but also the zoo management and invited VIPs.

As an every year, in front of the gorilla pavilion a platform was build, on which have performed the congratulates – Czech teen songstress Ewa Farna, the director Petr Fejk, and Spejbl a Hurvinek puppet theatre.

And what did she get for her birthday? A cake, some wooden toys, but the biggest gift is a brand new wooden play structure. Beside the birthday celebration, the visitors could try to spend time in gorilla fashion – in the education hall all the interested person could have build a gorilla den, or solve a brain-teaser, how to find hidden delicacies.

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Gas prices finally drop in Czech Republic

Fuels in Czech Republic keeps up with the trend of cheapening. In the last week the prices of diesel dropped more significantly than the prices of gas. Now, diesel costs 26,02 czk, and the most sold Natural 95 sells for 23,47 a litre.

“The price at gas stations have, with a delay, reacted on the rapid fall of gas prizes, which took place 14 days ago” the analyst of the company Colosseum Cermak stated.

Different situation was on markets last week. The black gold have, after a few week of weakening, directed upwards. The price grew by 14 percent. The growth was also made by weakening dollar.

The OPEC meeting planned on 17th December is expected to limit mining. It is expected that the countries exporting oil are going to accede to the most significant limitation of production in the last ten years.

Prague Spring 2009 Ticket Sale Starts Today!

Prague Spring (Czech: Mezinárodní hudební festival Pražké jaro) is a significant music event held under the patronage of the President of the Czech Republic and in association with the Ministry of Culture of the Czech Republic. Outstanding artists, symphony orchestras and chamber music ensembles has been performing at Prague Spring since 1946.

Prague Spring takes place 12th May 2009 – 3th June 2009. Why do we post the information now? Because this V.I.P. festival is traditionally sold out very, very soon before its start. If you re interested in it and think about visiting it, you should buy your tickets as soon as possible. If possible, do it today at Ticketpro.

Prague Spring in 2009 as an official event of the CR Chairmanship comes with such international stars, like Anne-Sophie Mutter, Kurt Masur, Juan Diego Flórez, Bernarda Fink, Christoph von Dohnányi, Thomas Hampson, Frank Peter Zimmermann or Jordi Savall, together with the Czech artists of world renown like Jiri Belohlavek, Dagmar Pecka, Ivan Moravec, Martina Jankova and Many others.

When you are going to go through the programme, you should put your mind to listed concerts of jubilee personalities, who co-designed the world of Czech and World music, like those: Bohuslav Martinu, Petr Eben, Joseph Haydn, Felix Mendelssohn-Bartholdy, Fryderik Chopin, Josef Bohuslav Foerster or Frantisek Xaver Richter.

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Skoda Auto turns down production. For Half a Year

The employees of Skoda Auto are now going through some really hard time. The Skoda Cars company cancels their production on Fridays. Thousands of employees, especially from production and logistic parts are going to have free Fridays. A huge effort of KOVO union achieved the nearly impossible – the employees are going to be paid.

“These were really hard negotiations, but we managed to agree on 75% of the average salary” said the chairman of the KOVO union.

But the stay at the factory won’t be very pleasurable – Skoda Cars age going through the biggest crisis in its modern history, created by low sales of the cars as a consequence of the world crisis, and the employees are moved. By moved, they mean they released more than 900 foreign workers off the hardest jobs, and are going to move regular employees at their posts, as the only way how not to fire them.

The Blob library only represents legality

The capital of the CR lets the term, until which the conditions for selling the parcel for the building of the new National Library should have been clear, to elapse. The representatives had the last chance to prolong the term, previously set on 31st December 2008. But the negotiation didn’t take place.

So the final decision is probably going to come in those few weeks, and as the Prague representatives stayed the same, the decision will be, quite possibly, negative. Or, as they didn’t prolong the contract, there may be other debates, but the Blob won’t be at Letna.

The decision itself, however, was never about Blob. It was about whether the representatives head with their ways to the past and decay, or to the future and development. Critiques of Klaus politics grow in numbers especially now, when the eyes of Europe turn to our small country, which is going to held the EU chairmanship.

The other countries look at the CR and see, what we already know – there is a lot of fresh liberal air, a lot of new attitudes, as well as groups of those who, probably as a heritage to the past regime, try to block the development in order to protect their own interests.

It was sad to watch, how ODS politicians change their stance from enchantment of the fresh Blob library to the negative attitude which started from Vaclav Klaus, in the instinct effort to keep their posts. In some cases, the bootlickery grow to such extent, the representatives lost their common sense. Pavel Bem is the proof.

Blob only stands for political freedom. If it wouldn’t be for it, there would be something else, on which the decay would display itself. But in order to be able to do what is right and legal, we first need to get rid of those, who permanently harm the interests and rights of this country.

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Le Monde: Klaus is a grumpy choleric, but Schwarzenberg will help

The Thursday volume of the prestigious French magazine Le Monde brings an interview with the Czech Foreign Minister Karel Schwarzenberg. The paper shows they put great expectations into his persona during the Czech EU Chairmanship, they even state “Europe is soon going to be in the hands of the prince”

“Schwarzenberg is the Foreign Minister in the small country with the grumpy, choleric, ultra-liberal and europhobic president Vaclav Klaus” the newspaper wrote, picturing Klaus in a similar way like the last edition of The Economist.

Le Monde so see Schwarzenberg as one of the strong influential personas of those six months of Czech Chairmanship, which starts at the beginning of 2009. The comment also includes Topolanek: “… ultra-liberal prime minister Mirek Topolanek, who is unambiguously calmer, he steers more, and is a personal enemy of the President” the list adds, with the comment the EU can prepare for some hard months.

The list also reminds Klaus doesn’t like Schwarzenberg from the beginning, when he impeached his loyalty and his foreign name. Also, Schwarzenberg lived in exile for fifty years and he is a friend of the ex-Czech president Vaclav Havel, whom Klaus doesn’t like as well.

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CSA Flights no longer with Free Food

A flight in the Economical class of Czech Airlines is soon going to resemble a flight with low-budget air companies. Passengers on board of CSA are not going to get the usual refreshment – the brunch and drink, but they will have to buy it.

This and other steps are from the “Action plan 2009” introduced by the company management, intended for survival of the company in the critical time of lower interest in flying. The secondary gains from sales are supposed to help the company to sustain total income.

The change doesn’t apply to passengers in Business class, which doesn’t change, with the exception CSA announced that they have to fight their decreasing numbers.

The action plan also counts with strict control of passengers luggage weight, plus collecting of fees for overweight.

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Unique Bohemian Train for the Rich

The New project of Czech Railways (CD) is called Bohemian Train. The unique train is formed by waggons of EuroCity and EuroNight trains, included are two restaurant and one sleeper waggon, one second and two first class cars.

On Friday morning, the first luxurious train of this kind left Prague Hlavni Nadrazi on its way to Berlin concert of Elton John. For the exclusive service and comfort including tickets to the British singer concert, a few tens of people paid 20 000 czk.

The offer of luxurious train travelling is intended for high clients. Czech Railways have confirmed the first ride of the train was used mainly by businessmen. For the price of 20t czk they can choose various delicacies from the menu card, use their bed in the sleeping-car, and have their private shower.

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The Czech New Year's Eve could be on ice

Recent Weather forecast revealed how it is going to be in the close future, regarding weather – This Christmas are probably going to be muddy, as the temperatures will be below zero only at mountains. But – on 26th December snow can appear even in the lowlands. At least Czech Hydrometeorological Institute states so on their web.

Daily temperatures at the time before the New Years’ Eve in The Czech Republic should vary between -3 and 1° C, according to calculation of numerical models snow should appear also in lowlands on 1st January.

The first week of the new year the meteorologists forecast cloudy and overcast, sporadic snowfalls, snowing at mountains. Night temperatures minus two to minus seven ° C, daily minus four to zero. Temperatures and precipitations should be average.

SMS Tickets: Special Service, or hazard?

SMS tickets celebrate success. Daily, about twenty thousands passengers buy their tickets for metro or tram in Prague by their cell phone. It took some time before people got used to it, but the system finds more users every day. Anyway, there appeared some problems lately. Firstly, the sms should come immediately after one sends the request, but there were recently cases of the ticket coming as late as half an hour. The Prague Public Transport company object similar complaints are not very often.

The other dispute is not a new one – The Office for Protection of Personal data claims the service breaks the law, as it is ajar to the Law of Name and Description Protection, because the Public Transport company keeps the data like phone numbers from which the customers order for ten years. The company defends they need to keep the data in order to provide a tax certificate, or because of possible complaints. The Office for Protection of Personal data doesn’t like those 10 years.

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Prague Olympic Society got 11milions czk grant

Prague representatives have accredited 11 million grant for the Prague Olympic society. It is the second part of those more than 25 mil., with which the company managed this year. The company is going to use the money to cover the credit it took from the Czech Olympic committee, other four millions are for the employees and associates of the company.

Prague Olympic Society leave a loop-hole so the preparation of Olympic candidacy could continue. Meanwhile the opponents are against the games in Prague, Prague Mayor Pavel Bem doesn’t give up. For example Jana Ryslinkova labeled the organization of OG in Prague as the most expensive swimming courses in the world.

Bem have praised the Prague Olympic society for how well they managed with the 25 millions they got, as the original plan was to spend 100 millions. But, all in all Prague had to pay 70 millions for the unsuccessful candidacy, where Prague ended 6th from 7 competitors.

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Czech used car dealers sell really cheap now

Because of the new law, according to which cars made before 1993 must have the special registration worth 10 000 czk starting this January, massive crowds sold their old Skodas, which are now available at second hand cars dealers very, very cheap. But the new law affects also cars made between 1991 and 1996, which now need a new registration worth 5 000 czk.

The economic slowed down and people start to think, where to invest their money. The Second hand car dealers had to reduce their prices dramatically and now for a change think, what to do with them, when supply exceeds demand.

As the Financial crisis continue, the retailers of new cars struggle as well. Skoda Cars have announced price reduction, somewhere up to 100 000 czk, however they had to pause production anyway. But if you feel like buying a car, second hand ones are now really cheap in Prague, or other Czech cities.

Goran Bregovic and Karmen (with happy ending)

The pieces by Goran Bregovic are labelled like the exemplary type of postmodern music. You can dance on rhythms of Gypsy and and folk songs from Balkan, Greece and Turkey, you can lost in dreams during a rock ballad, to be in the end amazed by angel-clean voices of the children’s choir, accompanied by synthezator music.

Bregovic got fame by music to movies by Emir Kosturica, like Time of Gipses and Arizona Dream. To the success of these movies definitely contributed Bregovic’s songs. He was awarded prizes for the best film music in movies Underground and Queen Margot.

His performances in the Czech Republic have always gained maximum success. Not only Czech audience loves his music, films and spontaneous energy, but they are also very vocal about it, so the atmosphere is something wonderful. Thanks for his scenic harmony talent his performances are attractive and fascinating.

Tickets: from 1 450,- to – 550,-, Veue: Congress Centre (Kongresové centrum, Praha 4). Date: 25th December 2009.

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Proposal of Solving Czech Gipsy Ghettos

Jiri Cunek brought another proposal of solving Gypsy ghetto situation in the Czech Republic, this time dividing the families into three groups, or classes.

The 1st Roma Category are, according to the conception, considered those families, who have paid taxes exemplary, from which at least one adult member has permanent employment, and their kids go to school regularly, without getting into serious troubles. As a reward, they would be promptly moved from a ghetto, gaining a year assistance of a social worker at the place of their new home.

The 2nd Roma category are those, who adult members are not unemployed longer than half a year, their kids go to school more or less regularly, and they do not owe too much on the rent. This class should, with the help of a social worker, get to gaining a new job, and returning at least a part of their debts.

The most strict regime would be implemented at the families in the third category, using houses with so called firm regime. After breaking the regulations of not using drugs and alcohol, exceeding noise limits or not paying the rent, they would be ejected from their accommodation. The all day assistance of a social worker should lead the family would be started towards regular life.

The problems are obvious – if a Gypsy family belongs to the first group, they probably don’t live in a ghetto anyway. The second group is the typical one, and the proposal doesn’t bring anything new. The third group – it is clear this means to eject a lot of Roma people from the ghettos. Where are they going to move them?

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Prague Industrial Palace Fire Source? Still Unknown

The source of the fire at the Prague Exhibition Ground, which reduced the left wing of the Industrial Palace into ashes, is still uncertain. After two months, the source is still uncertain and investigation still continues. To find the fire source is nevertheless decisive for the policy, which will be paid to Incheba company, the renter. And that can be also a problem, as media informed.

The city can suffer from the disadvantages contract, which the town hall made with Incheba company at the time of big coalition of ODS and CSSD. There is the unfortunate sentence, that the insurance money won’t go to the owner, the town, but to the renter, Incheba. The city now struggles for weeks, to make Incheba promise they are going to use the policy for repair of the Industrial hall.

Not so long ago, it appeared the plans of the burned building were lost. But then, a person who wished to stay incognito brought them to Pavel Bem.

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News About Czech Chairmanship

When you open any Czech, and some of European, newspaper, they all talk about Czech chairmanship of the EU. And Czechs working by the Union start to work hard. It is not surprising, that they got an info they are going to wok on Sundays from January to June, full-stop. The parliamentaries awake and make interviews, what are their plans, informing, writing blogs.

The leader of Brussels branch of Financial Times Tony Barber mentions on his blog ‘wisdom’ of Czech Foreign Minister Karel Schwarzenberg, praising his ‘sense of humor’. He is not alone – Karel Schwarzenberg enchanted many others, even foreign journalists start to call him ‘prince’ and they amuse themselves with his brisk comments and his ability to fall asleep during a boring press conference.

That other source of fun was brought by mode designers, who made the uniforms for lower officers around the event. The women are going to wear light blouses with many-coloured Czech EU chairmanship logo. Men will have a white shirt with a tie, again with printed colourful logos. It may look funny, but it least it isn’t boring.

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Lisbon Treaty Negotiations Now On Pause in CR

The Czech Parliament have agreed to discontinue the approving process of the Lisbon Treaty. The vice-foreign minister Zaoralek commented they did the maximum to pass it, however Mirek Topolanek commented that he is not able to get enough votes for constitutional majority. If there would be the vote, and it wouldn’t pass, it would be irreversible, meaning hard exposure for the Czech Republic.

The Prime Minister guaranteed, he is going to get enough votes at the first meeting of the Parliament in the upcoming year. On one hand, the government promised to ratify the treaty until the end of 2008, on the other hand they don’t want to blow it. Large part of the ODS, who still stand behind Klaus could vote against it, together with the communists. CSSD, The Greens and KDU-CSL would vote for.

Czech TV Digitizing

On 6th October, the Czech TV networks took further steps towards digitization of the television signal. The antenna on the Zizkov tower had to be replaced by a more up-to–date model. The new antenna weighs about nine tons, so in order to move it safely, it had to be separated into two parts and a special helicopter had was used. The Russian Kamov Ka-32 is a double-motor, heavyweight machine, able to maintain a position in the air and to carry as much as five tons of weight at once. This power gave it its „flying crane“ call sign.

The digitalising of Czech TV networks is a long- running process. It was halted once, as some commercial subjects, mainly TV Nova, objected to the way licenses were given to contenders. A license- related dispute is somewhat piquant in relation to this particular TV station, the most popular one in the republic. When Nova acquired its license in 1993 it did so under conditions it didn’t really follow: promising a program concerned with education and feature films, including the European ones, it quickly moved to endless American series and soaps, which were later replaced by the very fruitful South American soap production. Anyway that doesn’t mean they couldn’t have been right in this case.

Now it goes on quite slowly, as people need to get accustomed to the changes and, mainly, to be thoroughly informed.

Continue reading here

Tying Czech Football Hooligans

Finally, the new criminal code dealing with football hooligans can be passed. It means, Czech football could be more safe, as the well known brawlers won’t be allowed to the stadiums for the time of up to 10 years. Instead of ripping of benches, they would sit at a police station, waiting for the match to end. As the football violence display becomes much harder, the football clubs and police didn’t have any means to fight this phenomena effectively.

The Interior ministry activities aren’t limited just against football hooligans. The fans, who take care about rooting and choreography, so called ultras, should beware using pyrotechnics, especially gas candles. The penalties can apply to them for their fires as well.

Imagine the possible script: A football match Sparta Prague vs with Banik Ostrava, the most risky one. 25 thousand people in the arena. And no violence, because the hardest fighters are not present. A wish? Maybe soon the reality.

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Classical lightbulbs starting to disappear in September

The European Union have agreed on the gradual ban of selling classical lightbulbs. The alternative, which is was put through are the economic fluorescent tubes, which are able to shine at the same intensity using less energy. On agreeing of the appropriate regulation, experts from member countries associated with in the workgroup for ecological design. The regulation needs to be formally certified by European Parliament and Commission, but no delays are expected there.

In 2010, salesman should stop selling the 100W and stronger lightbulbs. In 2012, the regulation should affect all the ones, which are stronger 25W. In 2016, the final part bans halogen lightbulbs from the shops as well. Economic light bulbs have the same luminous flux like classic lightbubs, but lower energy consumption. Classic 100W lightbulb corresponds to 20W economic fluorescent tub. The energy consumption is so five times lower.

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The new Czech party already attracts rebels from ODS

And here it is. The Czech political scene is going to have a brand new, right-wing political party. “It is a question of days” says the close fellow-worker of Vaclav Klaus, Petr Mach. He has the ambition to be came the new party head. And, after the ODS congress ended, it seems that the foundation-stones are going to be mainly the dissatisfied ex-members of the ODS. Partly because of the president, who parted from the ODS, leaving many of his followers there, and openly stating support of the new subject. The new subject seems to have a lot of potential members – Mach says they are overwhelmed with mail of former and present members of the ODS, but also from other political parties and businessmen.

I just have to add – is the party gong to have enough voters, when half of the nation is dissatisfied with the right-win politics?

Public Transport in Prague changes: more of everything

New lines, new trains, new controllers. The Rapid company, which, together with the Prague Transport Company takes care of the traffic in Prague and the middle Bohemia region have announced more trains in the Prague integrated traffic, redirecting of the suburban traffic to metro station Haje.

Especially the suburban train traffic is going to gain 33% more connections, and most of the places where the track was modernized, like the track from Strancice to Radotin. During the rush hours it goes every 15 minutes.

New is the bus passage line S29, which connects Prague Vysocany, Hlavni Nadrazi a Strancice. Similar passage lines should became more common in the coming years. The complete news are private ticket controllers, who should help the traditional ones from the Prague Public Transport company.

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Prague weather during Christmas

Snow – during Christmas it is going to be only at mountains, the lowlands will be too hot.
8th – 14th December – cold North-West flowing with cold mornings, following cold days.
15th – 21st December – inverted cloudiness with daily temperatures about 0°C
22nd – 28th December – traditional warming

This week is going to be somewhat cloudy with sporadic rainfalls, which can be snowy at the mountains. During the week, freezing fog can appear. Daily temperatures are going to be between 0° and 4°C.

According to the experience, the traditional weather during Christmas is about 0°, so usually only wet mud and no snow, but that applies to Prague. Above 650 m could be snow this year. For actual Prague weather continue here

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Monkey Business and Glenn Hughes in Prague Lucerna

Glenn Hughes The singer of Deep Purple, Glenn Hughes, is going to be hosted by the Monkey Business, together they are going to perform live in Prague Lucerna. “We are going to play his songs as well, like the one called F.U.N.K., for which he was nominated for Grammy.” says the front man of Monkey Business. And adds – “Hughes is one of the best singers. My first vinyl was one by Deep Purple” BTW, Hughes hosts at the album of Monkey business from 2005, called Kiss Me On My Ego.

The group plays in Lucerna on Wednesday, introducing some of the new songs which are going to appear on the new album Twilight Of Jesters. The group is going to be enforced not only by Glenn Hughes, but also by their original songstress Tonya Graves, who returned from maternity leave. The Concert you shouldn’t miss on Wednesday – Monkey Business and Glenn Hughes in Prague Lucerna, December 10, 2008. Start: 20:00

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Czech state hardens attitude to prostitution

The state wants to protect the “children moral development” by banning prostitution around schools or children playgrounds. The business is quite extensive here, as the statistics talk about 25t working in the oldest profession. Meanwhile, the today legislation doesn’t make troubles, there should be some regulations ahead. The houses, where girls can make their business are called by other names – like Pension, Night club, Cabaret, Red light whatever. But all know what is going on there.

So the Night Clubs with girls which are around schools can get closed according to the new law. It became much harder for them to prostitute in the streets, however when they do it in addition around schools, they can get a fine, even end up in a prison. But in comparison with other states of the EU, there is still minimal regulation and low price, which makes those 10 billions spend customers on prostitutes a year.

Klaus at Birth of a New Party

It is official – After Klaus lost at the ODS congress with his ideas about Lisbon treaty, the trend of moving more power from the hands of the president to the hands of the prime minister. Klaus loses his credibility by rocket speed, and he wants his influence back. So it is official: Klaus is going to be a godfather of a new political party.

Petr Mach is one of those who works on the ideas of the party right now. “Now it is clear, there will be a new party” says the 33 yo economist. Klaus’s co-workers have already addressed a few possible cooperators or potential members.

Clearly, some of the parliamentarians from the ODS who are dissatisfied with the pro-Europe direction of the ODS are going to join with the newly created subject. Mach has already indicated, by which the party should differentiate from the civic democrats – it shouldn’t be liable to environmentalist trends and it should speak against Lisbon Treaty and federalist activities in the EU.

ODS Congress – Go on Without Klaus, Bem

The results put simply: The angry president and founding father of the ODS left the party, the critique of the present lead and the ally of Klaus Pavel Bem lost as well, Mirek Topolanek was re-elected the ODS leader, and promised he is going to redeem himself.

The most visible change is the new vice-leader of the party, until now unknown 37-yo David Vodrážka, the Mayor of Prague 13. The Congress continued from Friday to Sunday, with the founder Klaus they grew apart definitely after 10 pm of the last day, when the party decided to support the Lisbon Treaty. That moves some state responsibilities to Brussels, which is something Klaus can’t come to terms with.

If we look at it closely, that wasn’t a battle of ideas, more like victory of reason. Even, when a part of the ODS don’t want Topolanek in the lead, they very well realize to change the leader, which is a prime minister at the same time, and to risk government fall in the moment the CR is going to Organize chairmanship of the EU. Topolanek won with 285/500 votes.

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Exhibition of old Radios in Prague

The famous Edison’s Phonograph or the Radio receiver from the period of the second world war, which speaker is nicknamed “Goebbels’s mouth” can be seen in the Atrium shopping hall at the Charles Square. Until the end of January, the interesting exhibition called Naladte se na stare Vlny (Tune on the old broadcast) is going to continue showing more than 150 historic radio receivers, gramophones and telephones.

Besides that the visitors can see some rare pieces of those first USA Turntables, which used to be driven by a clique, with volume regulation by a kind of doors in the front, which when wide open, played at maximum volume, minimum volume was made by closing the doors. The exhibition has some unique pieces and rarities as well.

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Christmas Children Weekends in Prague Start Now

St. Nicholas on Ice – that is the show prepared for tonight, for all the kids who come to the Ovocny Trh (fruit market) in Prague. The Ice playground of 14×30 m offers, aside from possibility of ice-skate, theatre and music performances.

“I think, that it is the right realization especially for kids from schools, who have the possibility to spend their after school time healthy way here.” Said the semi-mayor of Prague 1 Michal Valenta. The entertaining cultural programme which incorporates concerts, theatre or ice-shows take place every weekend until 6th January.

The St. Nicholas is the commencing the impulse to start preparing for the Christmas eve. Tonight, when you notice many trios of st. Nicholas with an angel and a devil, it is a normal part of Czech traditions.

Prague Zoo Keeper lost his bet with Gorilla, he lost less pounds

It is easy to get a few pounds more on the huge gorilla body without anyone noticing, but the gluttonous female Shinda from Prague zoo had yet too much of extra pounds. She had 106 kg in September, and her movement in the yard was more of a powerless rolling than walking. So, her keeper Marek Zdarsky applied reducing diet on her. No bananas, apples, only vegetable. At the beginning, her reaction was naturally anger, but in a month she got perfectly used to it.

The slimming achievements are clear after those three months – Shinda is now only 96 kilos. But her keeper ended up worst, as he didn’t got under 97 kg. That was the condition of the bet, he made with other zoo keepers, so now there is no champagne for him, on the contrary, he had to buy and serve juice to the Gorilla. “well… its kind of embarrassing” he commented the fact he is heavier than the animal.

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The Sisters of Mercy in Prague concert

The cultic British group The Sisters of Mercy is going to perform on 1st April in Prague theatre Archa. “It is a single club concert, which has, in comparison with the previous performances of the group in the CR, limited capacity. The Sisters of Mercy are among the most famous and most influential rock formations of 80’s of 20th Century, they have a number of loyal fans, who travel whenever there is a concert in Europe. A number of other groups was inspired by them; from Skinny Puppy to Rammstein.

Most of the original group members went away, however Eldritch and the drum machine called Doctor Avalanche stayed in the project. The original guitarists Craig Adams and Wayne Hussey, who later founded successful music group The Mission, were replaced by Chris Catalyst and Ben Christo. Among the most well-known songs would be “Temple of Love”.

The Sisters of Mercy in Prague Archa Theatre on 1st April 2009. Start at 20:00

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ODS elects the new leader today

The congress of ODS starts today. Delegates vote for the new ODS leader, and choosing the final stance to the Lisbon treaty as well as to the lost elections. Those 500 ODS delegates are definitely going to think about what to do after the voters demonstrated they want less pro-reformist governmnet. At the occasion is going to appear even the honorary president Vaclav Klaus, who supports Pavel Bem and vice versa – if we look at Bem’s program, it looks like we would read Klaus’s declaration.

The two rivals have priorities, which they want to put through.

Mirek Topolanek
To keep the coalition government to the elections in 2010, but to modify it personally a bit.
To finish the health, pensioner and judicial reform
To continue in reducing company taxes
To lower the deficiency in state budget
To bind the parliamentaries to ratify Lisbon treaty

Pavel Bem
The coalition government have to demise, their operation is discreditable
To ask the president to nominate minority ODS government
To concentrate on early elections, which would be a referendum about the need of real reforms
To bind the parliamentarians and ODS senators to refuse the Lisbon treaty and to start negotiating about a new one.
To keep the original program of ODS (Klaus-wise)

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Prague? A Sexy City!

prague club roxy, photo from technocz Susan Breslow Sardone, About.com’s Guide to Honeymoons, has blogged about National Geographic Traveler’s list of “World’s Sexiest Cities,” asking readers to share their opinions. The result? Prague scored quite high. Why would it be so?

Today, Prague is a major destination for expats or would-be expats in search of the Europe that exists only as an idea in literature and pop culture. Prague attracts eloping couples and honeymooners with its multitude of romantic hotel hideaways. Individuals seeking serious nightlife can enter dark and intimate jazz rooms or party with a club scene that never sleeps. Many youthful backpackers experience their first real sense of independence in Prague, while established individuals savor Prague through its food, art, and shops.

Prague’s mystery, beauty, character, and history make it a must-see city. However, because Prague serves as the permanent or temporary home of sophisticated music lovers, spies, romantics, and the inspired, Prague’s inhabitants – real, imaginary, or historical – are what create its aura of sex appeal.

The fact is, we who live in Prague sometimes like this, so the article doesn’t lie. Read it in full here

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Important Chapter of Czech Design exhibition

The exhibition which opened in Prague holds one’s interest not only by high quality of presented design, but also by its originality made by nature connection of folk traditions with the most progressive art motions. The Artel group was founded by the coming generation of Prague artists in 1908 as a “general goods store” but the idea from the beginning was new conception of decorative arts.

The point Artel group has is to create quality art-craft, which would improve general taste, it is about connecting decorative arts with usefulness of everyday objects, about the unified lifestyle, something we call design today. The members designed toys, souvenirs, jewels, ceramics, glass, textile motives and also furniture sometimes.

One of the inspiration sources of the exhibited objects is the folk art, which can be seen for example in the devil-shaped wooden box, the other would be secession and cubism. Art for Everyday – exhibition in the Museum of Decorative arts in Prague until March 2009.

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Hepatitis A retreats from Prague, people are still afraid

The number of cases diseased with Hepatitis A decrease, the danger of infection in the mind of Prague citizens doesn’t grow smaller, though. That results from the study of company GfK Praha, stating that 54% citizens are afraid they still can get infected. The real cases of infection are not so often anymore. During the last month, there was about 265 cases in the white republic. Compared to 562 in October and 346 in September the rapid decrease is visible.

Meanwhile in the last yet, Hepatitis attacked about 128 citizens, this year it has been 1383 so far. The most sick are in the age group of 25-34 and not among kinds, which is unusual. In context of high occurrence of hepatitis, every fifth person let him and his kids to be vaccinated. According to hygienists, this year epidemic started to spread from the homeless and socially weak people.

NATO stood behind the Czech Radar

The North Atlantic alliance have firmly stood behind the American Anti-rocket Umbrella in Europe. Ministers of 26 member countries of NATO in together final declaration stated, the defensive system in Poland and Czech Republic is going to be an essential benefit for the member countries security. At the same time, they appealed to Russia for more reserved attitude.

“We regard it to be a positive contribution for the future safetiness of our allies” is states the written declaration of the meeting. This is, among others, a clear proof, that those who see the Radar Base as a solely American action are wrong. The ministers have also appealed to Russia to step aside from “confrontation declarations” which could harm the collective relations. The alliance doesn’t like Russian declarations about spheres of influence and threats of rocket disposition in the area around Kaliningrad.

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The First SUV by Skoda soon go to production

Skoda Auto fabric for Yeti cars will finally be opened in Kvasinky in 2009. The first Czech SUV car should be possible to buy in the last week in May. The speaker of Skoda Jaroslav Cerny comments the present financial crisis on the market doesn’t change plans for introducing new products. Skoda enters the market with SUV, even when the world-wide sales of this cars drop due to high oil consumption, however it is not a SUV of the American fashion – Yeti is a moderate sized, light car.

The Skoda Auto company announced to their distributors that they can count with production of 55 thousands cars a year. The other long expected news prepared for the Frankfurt display is the prolonged version of Superb in combi design. The new Superb Skoda started to sell this year in the half of the year and it was a successful model so far – during the crisis it is the model with the least dead plates. Bothe there two are going to be constructed in Czech town Kvasinky, where Skoda Cars invested millions.

Prague Taxi Problem being solved

“He must be a mafioso, just like a taxi driver from Prague” whispers a grandma to her grandson’s ear about the driver, who just drove her home. The appalling legend of Prague taxi drivers have got to the pop-culture consciousness – the grandma whispers it in Gilmore Girls. What is the most incredible is that the whole city of Prague with its million citizens is not able to deal with about 60 taxi bandits, meanwhile the rest 4 000 taxi drivers don’t cause troubles.

Cabdrivers from the company Euro Taxi are infamous. The City Hall writes on their web pages that problems with them have even the guests of Hotel Hilton. There have been laws against them for a few years now, but they are still around. Like on the Old Town Square, where should be only the drivers of AAA Radio Taxi, yet Euro Taxi appears now and then. When they see the police, they start the engine and go away.

The city has given them fines worth 100 millions czk, took their licenses, and the result? The drivers do not pay the fines, and drive on without the licence happily. But there is a change in the air – there is a new boss at the Prague Police, who doesn’t hesitate with solutions. Last weekend, when a driver from Euro Taxi did not obey and stood at the place at the Old Town Square, the police took him into custody and confiscated his car. Hopefully this is going to go on.

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Grand Restaurant 2009 prize - Best Czech Restaurants

The winner of the prestigious handbook of the best restaurants in the Czech Republic became the Radisson SAS hotel in Prague. The favorite restaurant with intimate atmosphere and favorite Sunday jazz brunches gained many appraisals already

In the popularity ladder, Alcron have got ahead of Allegro in Four Seasons, the restaurant which is the owner of the only Michelin star in the Czech Republic. Even when Alcron belongs in long-term among the top ten.

Top 10 of Prague Restaurants according to Pavel Mauer

alcron food 1.Radisson SAS hotel, Alcron Prague 1
2.La Degustation Boheme Bourgeoisie, Prague 1
3.Obecni Dum, Francouzska restaurace, Prague 1
4.Rialto Ristorante, Brno
5.V Zatisi, Prague 1
6.Bellevue, Prague 1
7.Radisson SAS hotel, La Rotonde, Prague 1
8.Le Terroir, Prague 1
9.U Kastelana, Bno
10.Four Seasons hotel, Allegro Prague 1

Food and Drinks at Prague Arport discounts the price

The Ruzyne airport start to, thanks to new owners, lose he stamp of an overcharged terminal, where people pay for food and drinks more than in the Four Seasons Hotel. Luckily it is the majority of shops, which belong to an Italian company, the rest stay at those terrible priced levels, meaning one pays many times more than in the city.

The Airest company, which is one of the Italian Save group discounted the prices most of the assortment, some over one third. Not everything was made cheaper; spirits at some premises are even more expensive.

How does it look like in Practice? For example the EU Café, the leading shop of Ruzyne expensiveness, was selling ¼l of water 115 czk. Now, at the same place the ½l bottle is for 80. Beer is also cheaper, if you take a look around, you can find 1/3 for 60 czk.

With Italian Airest also come change for the shops itself. They are going to look much like the shops, restaurants or cafés of the company in Italy or Austria.

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Diamond jewels exhibited in Prague

Diamonds worth six millions euro, which means about 150 millions czk, are now exhibited in Siroka Street in Prague 1. In the newly opened showroom, the Czech company Diamonds International Corporation exhibits the world strongest currency. Visitors interested can have a look at the diamonds themselves, but also jewels made from them.

The cherry on the cake of the exhibition is the ring with yellow citrus three-carat brilliant, and six pink brilliants with total weight of 2 carats. Its price is about 7,2 millions czk. The biggest exhibited piece is the diamond of 11,83 karate, which price reaches almost 35 million czk.

All the diamonds are possible to see for free, the entrance is opened until 8th December. Siroka ulice in Prague.

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Train Traffic improvements in Prague

The biggest railway building of Prague, respectively of the Czech Republic, in the last hundred years, which cost 9,3 billions czk, is finally functional. The new system of connection, tunnels, scaffold bridges, tracks, all those connecting the most important Prague railway stations and accelerate train traffic in the capital. Daily, it will be able to transport thousands of travellers.

The project called “Nove spojeni” (new connections) is finally complete. Traffic among the stations Praha Hlavni Nadrazi and Masarykovo Nadrazi on one side, and Hlavni nadrazi and Liben, Vysocany and Holesovice on the other. The other development of suburban train traffic is going to follow.

The Main Train Station in Prague can also celebrate – it was yesterday, when the first two phases of the reconstruction officially ended. The first four platforms have been renowned as well as the underpasses, escalators and handicapped lifts were build.

Vaclav Klaus on the edge of popularity

The Verdict of the Czech Constitutional Court concerning the Lisbon treaty – it is not against the Czech constitution. The highly Euro-skeptic Klaus suffered a loss, and not a light one – all the 15 judges decided against Klaus and for European Union reformation. The judges have agreed that times change and notions with their explanations change as well. They put the Czech Republic into the context of the international politics development, they point out changes in words like sovereignty, they remind that it is not possible not to take notes of changes.

Lisbon treaty is good to go from the Czech Constitutional Court – now it goes to the parliament and to the senate. It won’t be easy, though, because Vaclav Klaus is going to fight, as he doesn’t want to live through another loss; he lost many times already last three months. Just to recall some: he became president only because back-stage machinations, the Prime Minister Mirek Topolanek openly argues with him, the government shows they have different opinion in key points, like Russia and Kosovo. Klaus steadily gets to the political isolation.

Tree of Peace planted at Vysehrad

To recall the need of peace in the world – that is the aim of the lime tree, which was planted at Vysehrad yesterday. It also should symbolise nature protection on the whole planet. The lime tree planted today is the descendant of the memorable Semtinska lipa lime tree, from which seed was taken and nurtured into a tree settling. The event was truly multicultural, multi-religious.

The initiator of the event is the Peace ambassador, his holiness svami Mahesvarananda, a spiritual teacher and a humanitarian worker. Through the International World Peace Council of Mahatma Gandhi and Sri Swami Madhavananda organizes peace conferences with themes like help to kids stricken by war, global climate changes, religion and peace in the world etc. This year, the last peace conference took place in Wellington. Together with the visit of the Dali Lama, this is another event with high representative of world peace motions in Prague this week .

How to repair Charles Bridge

The dispute among two conservationist units in Prague continue. Up to now, it seems like the biggest problem of the Charles Bridge reconstruction is missing documents. “To work up the construction-historical research is the basic presumption of a quality sight repair.” said Lenka Svobodova, the representative of The Inspection of the Ministry of Culture, the main criticizing institution.

For instance – the stone railing doesn’t have the necessary documentation, which was supposed to be tip-top before the works started. The Inspection finds the railing to be harmed, however it is hardly visible by an eye. Another opinion has the Old Prague Club – according to them the problem is on the side of the Capital itself, because the Charles Bridge should have a specialized group of experts who would take care of it permanently.

The Mott MacDonald company, which works at the reconstruction, feel the name of the company was harmed by the preservationist inspection, who let it all to the media, even when half of their points are highly discussable.

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Christmas beers start to be sold in Prague

The number of beer exhibitions grow usually before Christmas in all the breweries, the tooth of people for something unusual, which they cannot have for the rest of the year, grows as well. The taste for experimenting with something unique, which you can’t have during the year, grows. Those look for the Christmas beers.

Where to they have them? You have to go to some small breweries, which you must look up, however, just a small illustration – at Strahov they brew 20° dark special, in the brewery U Bulovky they distribute two half-dark 17° beers with soft flavour of Christmas spices and herbs, i.e. cinnamon. The Beer house U Bansethu in Nusle brews 15° dark honey beer. The real classic among Prague Christmas beers is the already traditional vanilla beer, served with a sweet vanilla baby roll.

If you don’t know where to go, you can go Pivovarsky klub in Karlin, where they have a lot of Christmas special beers from other local breweries, from Broumov, from Rakovnik… a lot of choices.

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Dali lama visited Czech parliament in Prague

“I believe in the power of truth and justice. China politics of hard line relies on the power of weapons, but the truth… is stronger.” The 73 yo man in red robes said in the packed hall of the Czech parliament yesterday.

The Dali Lama attracts attention of Czechs. His lecture two days ago was absolutely packed, and the possibility to hear him in the parliament yesterday didn’t miss also actors and representatives of various non-government organizations, many of those wearing symbols of Tibet.

The Dali Lama visited the Czech Republic on the behalf of the “Friends of Tibet” group, whose typical members are Martin Bursik and Katerina Jacques, who stated “Citizens of the Czech Republic greatly respect you and sympathize with you”.

The Dali Lama spoke about freedom and spiritual development, as is typical, entertained the people present with funny stories, but also surprised with the opinion, Russia should became a member of NATO, and the central of NATO could than be in Moscow, instead of Brussels.

Representative Radim Chytka from the ODS promised Dali Lama they are going to use the Czech EU chairmanship for expressing support to the Tibet. The Dali Lama continued, that the small countries sometimes have more sense for human rights than the bigger ones.

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Klaus vs Lisbon

The Czech Constitutional Court has just decided that the Treaty of Lisbon does not collide with the Czech constitution. That means it can be ratified either by parliament, or by referendum. The latter option is not very likely at this moment, since all the major political actors, except the Communists, are in favour of the parliamentary way.

The court was asked by some ODS senators to examine the Treaty of Lisbon. The senators expressed their doubts about some of the treaty´s features, yet some of them are simply known to be anti- EU. Some suspect the senators of merely delaying the process of ratification. Unlike the government, they are more bound to the president than a wish for efficient cooperation with the EU member states. President Klaus seems increasingly unhappy with Czech EU membership and has recently called himself a dissident in the Union. It seems a bit awkward to call yourself a dissident while being a president of a republic, unrestricted in any way and with daily possibility to fill the media with your comments.

Read the whole article here

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AC/DC and Black Ice head to Prague

The Legends of Australian hard-rock worked on their new album for two years. It can be heard and felt; fifteen great songs from the workshop of Young brothers form the longest record in the history of AC/DC. And also one of the best, as renowned magazines acknowledges – the Rolling Stone speaks about it in superlatives only.

The name of the 15th studio album is a link on Young Brothers childhood in Scotland, when they often heard “beware of the black snow” from the radio. The image of black snow now perfectly fits in the image of tough boys from AC/DC, who do not take prisoners as they play.

The singer Brian Johnson and the guitarist Angus Young staid faithful to their faithful color, in clothing as well. 17th March 2009 their black snow is going to fall on Prague O2 Arena.

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Topolanek – Bem 7:0 in the half-time

The ODS votes the new chairman this weekend. And the current one is of another two steps closer to be re-elected again, meanwhile his rival, Pavel Bem, seems to be more far than ever. A week before the Sunday election, which will decide the new leader of ODS, Topolanek was supported by ODS in Vysocina, South Moravia and Liberec region. Topolanek is, right now, the leader who is probably going to stay with the ODS until next elections.

Mirek Topolanek now reflects the heavy critique of Bem and his big ally Vaclav Klaus. Those two blame him for the loss in regional elections and support of Lisbon treaty. Klaus even threatens to leave the ODS, which he founded. The ODS went to the worst crisis since 1997. STEM agency made a research, finding out the biggest problem was the too-much-right-of-a-programme, arrogance and failure to keep promises.

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Christmas Markets in Prague Initiated

The evening at the Old Town Square belonged to the eve before advent Sunday.

The Christmas tree was lighted up shortly before 6 p.m. on the Old Town Square by Pavel Bem and children. Than, he wished calm festivities to the folks. “I wish the tree would light up a piece of hope in the hearts of those, who are dependant upon help of the others and can’t be with their near and dear.” Bem said.

The Christmas tree, this year name of the tree is ‘Krystof’, lightened up with seventy thousands of diodes. This year Christmas markets are going to last for 34 days, ends on 1st January.

Thousands of people came to the square, to see the light show, which they awarded by applause. The traditional specialities, sold in the kiosks with red roofs were welcomed – hot mead and wine especially.

The Old Town Square offers 100 vending places, opened from 9 to 19 hours, on weekends until 20. The stances with refreshments are opened until midnight.

The most significant celebrations are expected to be on the new year’s eve.

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Dali-Lama lecture in Prague Congress Centre

The lecture theme was simply ‘understatement: the way to happiness’. His Holiness the Dalai Lama lectured for Czechs in the Prague Congress Centre. “Our state of mind is necessary for reaching a happy life.” He told the audience. The Dali Lama arrived to Prague on invitation of the ex-president Vaclav Havel and the Nadace Forum 2000 foundation.

The Dalai Lama, first name Tandzin Gjamccho, is considered to be the spiritual leader of Tibetans. Chinese Government, which occupies Tibet sine 1959, considers him the symbol of obsolete theocratic system. In 1989 gained the Nobel prize of peace.

After the lecture he meet the prime minister Mirek Topolanek. Topolanek has been supporting Tibetan autonomy even when he wasn’t a prime minister, so they understand well. The other politician the Dalai Lama knows well is Martin Bursik, with whom and The Tibet Friends Group he met afterwards. The evening was, of course, criticized by China representatives. The Dalai Lama stays until Thursday.

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