One of the most beautiful Prague gardens is opening again after the winter break – Valdstein garden on the Senate grounds. A unique collection of sculptures, statues of horses and the Sala terrena with a fountain are available to visitors. The Senate office also offers guide services to tourists. This might at first seem like very positive information. The guide, however, has to be booked in advance and is offered in Czech language only. A pity! Our country began to open up slowly during Czech EU presidency, we started to communicate more in foreign languages and so present our country more. And we have things to offer. It wasn’t only the sugar cube that our ancestors invented. They have also
The weakness of the open letters and petitions often lies in their colourless vocabulary and content representing the point of concurrence of the opinions of the individual petitioners. That is not the case of the letter by former presidents of central and eastern European countries to Obama’s administration signed last week by people like Havel, Walesa, Kwasniewski, Adamkus and Constantinescu. All representatives of one political generation. Disregarding the fact that the text, where Czech authorship can be felt, has little chance of influencing the US president’s policy it still has a great importance. Thanks to clear vocabulary and opinions it offers a surprisingly insightful analysis of the current state of affairs that even the top think tanks needn’t be ashamed
Civic Democrat MEPs have established a new party together with the British Conservatives. This could be a setback for the Lisbon Treaty.We have not become cynical “real” politicians who forgot their values and defiance of federalist Europe. We have come to terms with the Lisbon Treaty because we failed to stop it. We won’t step back any more – now, we will block the unification. That is a possible reading of the ODS entering the new European Conservatives and Reformists fraction in the European Parliament they put together with the British Conservatives and the Polish party of brothers Kaczyński. Entering a Eurosceptic group represents a favour for the bad conscience of ODS pragmatists (Topolánek, Vondra, Zahradil). They have been twisting
It is obvious that Václav Havel had his weak moment two weeks ago. At an event in support of Bursík’s Greens he criticised car production based “only on preservation of employment” and used a surprisingly brief metaphor compared to his usual custom: “It seems slightly monstrous to me. It is as if someone said that the concentration camps have to exist since those wards and guards need some employment. It is necessary to ask about the meaning, whether we need more cars.” He received criticism from all sides and the head of the Social Democrats even wants Havel to apologise. Legitimate questionCzech right wing die-hard fans say that a car is an ordinary product of the market economy and that
Jan Fischer’s cabinet, which will lead the country until the elections next spring will not privatise Prague Airport. Finance Minister Eduard Janota told E15: “I can definitely rule that out.” Janota said this in reaction to the discussion among political parties concerning priorities of Fischer’s cabinet. While Social Democrats. Communists and Christian Democrats reject both privatisation of Prague Airport and Czech Airlines, the Civic Democrats support it under certain circumstances. “I don’t think the cabinet should put it aside. However, if the sale proves disadvantageous then ČSA should not be sold, of course. The same goes for the airport,” said Petr Nečas, ODS deputy chair. “The cabinet does not have a mandate to decide about the airport. And even if
A day before attending a summit in New York about climate change the Czech president Václav Klaus spoke to The Washington Times, a conservative American broadsheet newspaper.
This week, heads of Czech Centres from around the world are gathered in Prague to discuss where next for their cultural institutes. Amongst them is Ladislav Pflimpfl, head of the Czech Centre in London.
NEWSCzech EU commissioner to be in charge of enlargementŠtefan Füle, the new Czech European commissioner, will be in charge of EU enlargement, European Commission head José Manuel Barroso said on Friday. Lidové noviny has reported that the post is among the more prestigious.Source: most Czech press Schwarzenberg becomes TOP 09 chairmanKarel Schwarzenberg was elected chairman on Saturday at the founding congress for the new TOP 09, as expected. Former Finance Minister Miroslav Kalousek has become first deputy chairman.Source: most Czech press Hussein planned attack on RFE/RLSaddam Hussein planned a terrorist attack on the headquarters of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty in the former Federal Assembly building in Prague in 1999 in order to silence the radio broadcasting criticising his regime, TV
NEWSHN: ODS wants two people for chair and party leaderHospodářské noviny reports that ODS is mulling a change in its organisational structure that would make the chairman of the party and its political leader, the prime minister if the Civic Democrats win in the spring general elections, two different people. HN says the current ODS Deputy Chair Ivan Langer would probably become party chairman.Source: HN 4 Health Ministry issues new measures on fluThe health and labour ministries yesterday announced that doctors in regions undergoing a flu epidemic could issue sick notes retroactively for five days. Health Minister Dana Jurásková also recommended that doctors have patients sign an agreement that they had been informed about the swine flu vaccination and to
NEWSExperts: ODS has replacement for TopolánekPolitical experts polled by ČTK say that ODS already has a replacement in mind for party chairman Mirek Topolánek but that his opponents do not want to risk an open clash before the elections. Topolánek told ČT 24 yesterday that he could be replaced by the party’s vice deputy in Moravia-Silesia, Pavel Drobil, the head of the Brno ODS, Pavel Blažek, or the Liberec party vice deputy, Radim Zika.Source: ČTK, LN 1, 3 Swine flu vaccinations extended to children aged 10-plusThe State Institute for Drug Control and the European Medicines Agency have decided to extend swine flu immunisations to children aged 10 and older who are chronically ill. The first groups of children are to