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Czech today

It has been 15 years since Czech got its independence in Velvet Revolution. Since then the country has had to develop its structures from almost nothing. Communist system didn’t work and now they are paying the price. Although Czechs have wonted to make clear line between old and new system some heritage has still been left. One example is incredible bureaucracy that is not all to be communist achievement since some are from time of Austro-Hungarian double monarchy.

Czech is not yet a West European country in its full meaning but is developing such in a very high rate. Step by step Czechs have taken course towards Europe because they want forget the east. This part of Europe is in the middle of identity crisis. It has been common to speak Czech, Poland, Hungary and Slovakia as East European countries. Well, now these countries want to change the concept of Central Europe by declaring to be the centre of Europe. Former Central Europe is only hegemony of Germans. It has been difficult to define Central Europe. One suggestion is that Central Europe is the former Austro-Hungarian area. Poland has a weird way to approach this matter. They don’t want to be even Central Europeans but Europeans. Well, in any case identity is more correct then Finnish have since they sometimes forgot even being Europeans.

It is wonderful that East Europe wants to be a part of Europe. Only with hard will they can come respectful European Union countries. Czechs still has a lot of difficulties to overcome but like said will and deeds to overcome these has happened.

What happens in Czech today

The biggest news right now in Czech is governmental crisis and it is not small. I would call it as a learning of new ways to work. Things don’t work anymore like they did 15 years ago. Prime minister (Social Democrat) has not yet been able to give good explanation where he got his money to his luxurious apartment and why his wife has some strange business going on. But its not so uncommon since there are several ministers of government waiting for trial and some facing even 8 years of sentence. These unstable times aren’t liked by investors and those are just what Czech would need right now.


An other thing that is in news right now are badly built concrete high-rises (apartments) from communist era called panelaks. During communist era people were forced to move to cities because industrialisation needed workers. For this growing population they needed building to live. These buildings were constructed with Stalinist style – fast and with no consideration. Nowadays these panelaks aren’t in good condition, balconies are falling down and elevators don’t work. I am talking about a small problem since one third of Czechs live in panelaks. Around Czech there is 80 000 falling panelaks. To repair them would cost half of the government’s one-year budget. Czechs have called for aid of EU and I hope it’ll come or these panelak suburbans are becoming slum areas with lot of problems. It’s nice to know that Kolej Hostivar is one of these panelaks. Luckily they have done some painting here and I haven’t found any balconies here.

Well, anyway if you are looking for apartment in Prague you should find out when it has been done. There are other problems concerning panelak areas. These areas were built so fast that they didn’t think about services and leisure time of people living there. Some Czechs think this is quite depressing. There are some villages where 97% of buildings are panelaks. Repairing these buildings would call for a miracle. I think it is not worth keeping these buildings since costs are much higher than in new buildings. For example heating costs 15 to 30 % more in panelaks then it does in new buildings. No wonder since our room was a sauna before they fixed thermostats and window was open quite often. What a waste.


When we first came here we wondered if every Czech smokes. This assumption proved to be almost right. I have learned that 31% of Czechs smoke – 39% of men and 23% of women. It is very similar like in Germany and Italy. I am not sure if this is because formula 1 is such popular in here but at least in Germany and Italy it’s popular. Around of Europe governments are tightening their smoking laws. It just became illegal to smoke at public places in Ireland and Norway. Sweden and Finland are not so strict but are following the same path. But there are still those countries like Belgium that are run by mister Eclestone and by the way Belgium has also highest divorce per sent in OECD countries (almost 70%).

Nowadays people in Czech smoke everywhere and anywhere they want. For example when we went to by bus tickets the office lady smoked in the other side of desk. We have also visited a restaurant where waitress smoked when she served us and a clothing shop in the centre of Veneclaus square where all the cloths smelled tobacco like. You can imagine that these were the last times we visited there. Czech government has also started to take the first steps to squeeze the smokers. The price of cigarettes is raising 6 crowns this year and 7 crowns next year. The law to forbid smoking at public places was withdrawn but it might pass sometimes in spring. This is said to decrease smoking about 10% to 31%.

Short review for Czech news

Finally small look about other news in Czech. Victims of communists are now probably given money for their suffrage. They say its too late and too small. Czech police has found child porn producers whose customers were also teachers and camp leaders. Current law doesn’t forbid holding or buying child porn and police refuses to give names of teachers. This law is probably changed in future as soon as they know who is going to make the laws.

Inspections to local supermarkets has proved that one third of them have fixed prices. Especially products in sale are often sold with normal price. Be careful.

Nigerians think once before writing emails to Czechs after one misfortune receiver who shot Nigerian Consul.

Mean while one other Czech flamed the most of Chiles most popular National Park. Really good for relations of these counties and reputation of Czechs. Well, shit happens when you’re active.

There is a lack of judges in Czechs especially after president used his VETO to nominate new ones. He though they were kids and inexperienced. Probably right since they were under 30-years old.

And there is one historical story. Psychiatric Cyril Hoeschl told to the Office of Documentation of the Crimes of Communism that Jan Masaryk was actually murdered and didn’t commit suicide. Well, who would have figured that the communists were lying. It’s been a habit of Czechs to through out of window (defenestrating) those in charge who are not accepted. From very high I think. This happened also to Masaryk, the son of the firs president of Czech who was then prime minister and only non-communist minister.

Prague out.