We have only recently written, in our paper edition (45/2008), about a new lake that is emerging in the Most region. The report has been long lost in the heap of new events. But now there is something really colossal going on quietly and slowly in the north of Bohemia. Extraction has been slowly subsiding in all of the mines and should be completely over in some 30 years. Simultaneously with the withdrawal of the machinery, dozens of kilometres of free landscape are coming back to life. And the question of what to do with this land is resurfacing. The sight of the abandoned mines is fascinating in its own way. It is not a treat for the eye: TheContinue Reading

The controversial proposal of a “lifelong” marriage revealed one thing, among others, about its author, Culture Minister Jehlička: He has never read Tolstoy’s Anna Karenina. The scandalized proposal of a “lifelong” marriage revealed one thing, among others, about its author, Culture Minister Jehlička: He has never read Tolstoy’s Anna Karenina. Maybe he remembers the novel’s synopsis from when he was a schoolboy: A married woman falls in love with another man and jumps under a moving train. The minister certainly knows that she jumped under the train, but he has probably never searched for the reason why she did it. Her husband Karenin refused to give his consent to a divorce for which she had repeatedly asked him. That isContinue Reading

The final round of the US elections was a breathtaking show. Not because of its dramatic results, but because of how America showed us what Respekt likes about it: big ideas and fulfilled faith in the American dream on the side of the winner Barack Obama and generosity, reconciliation and dignity on the side of John McCain. This gave us a chance to see the Americans getting moral encouragement, which they really needed after the events of the last few months. This, of course, doesn’t mean a happy ending has arrived and we can fall asleep in peace. In one way, the really important things are yet to come. For the major part of the Czech Republic, however, this beginningContinue Reading

We say that the left has won in the US, forgetting that even the most leftwing of the US left is more right than the most rightwing of the Czech right. Just place Barack Obama’s programme next to the “tough” economic programme of our most rightwing party, and Czech onlookers will surely suffer from vertigo. This needs to be said before we launch into the heated discussion of the American left. The truth is that the US and European systems are hard to compare, but let’s try it anyway. Maybe it will help us understand the changes that await us now. Let us start with taxes. The Czech tax burden is 8.5% higher than the US one. The US stateContinue Reading

Opinion on the scope of the financial crisis has evolved dramatically since last year. In the beginning, it was mainly talked about as a local, American problem. In the spring, experts and politicians began predicting a slight economic slowdown in Europe as well. By summer, it became obvious that the crisis would hit even countries like Russia and China. Today, it is clear that what started as a US credit crisis will develop into a world-wide recession that will last at least one or two years. An economic depression was averted only thanks to a relatively speedy and well-coordinated response of central banks and governments. The crown? Nothing special…For a long time it seemed as though the financial crisis hadContinue Reading