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Czech News in English » Opinion » Talk Back » Talkback: Voice your opinion on today's Czech news

Talkback: Voice your opinion on today’s Czech news

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Welcome to Talkback, a forum to voice your opinion on today’s Czech news.

This week’s topic:What changes do you notice when comparing the Czech Republic of today to Czechoslovakia 19 years ago?

Yesterday, the Czech Republic celebrated 19 years since the fall of communism. It was 17 November 1989 when the first major protest against the communist regime took place in Prague. Later on, Václav Havel, playwright and dissident, became leader of the new democratic nation. New life possibilities opened up for Czechs as well as for foreigners. The post-communist country with gaps in the market and its specific culture became new home for many people from abroad.

Nineteen years later, the differences between the Czech Republic and the West are only very small. The Czechs have better access to education and services. They can buy whatever they want and travel wherever they want. As of yesterday, they don’t even need a visa to travel to the United States.

And yet, 19 years after the fall of the totalitarian regime, the communists are gaining political power in regional governments.

  • Have you witnessed the fall of communism in Czechoslovakia? What did you have in mind?
  • What are the changes you are noticing when comparing today’s Czech Republic to Czechoslovakia 19 years ago? Are the Czechs more self-confident or still reluctant to express their opinions? Do you think consumerism is becoming a dominant part of Czech culture?
  • Do you think the communist party should have been abolished when the regime fell?

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    Your comments on articles published in last week’s Prague Daily Monitor. Reader Patrick Minoughan said in reaction to the article Position of foreigners in ČR uncertain that he as a US retiree is having hard times finding a second home in the Czech Republic. “Can you tell me why the CZ does not want retired Americans to live in their country? I have looked at this problem until I am blue in the face. Here’s what I have been trying to do for the past 5 years: I am retired and have an excellent income. I want to move to the Ještěd area near Liberec (for skiing). I want to buy a home, live there and be happy, but your country does not want retirees who just want to live there, be happy and give you their money.

    “Some close friends of mine in Prostějov sent me to the corner market where no one spoke English. They gave me a list of things they wanted from the store and sent me off. I returned with everything on the list. I don’t speak Czech, but I do know how to tell folks what I want by using my hands (I learned that when I lived in Italy) and nodding my head (I learned that when I lived in Thailand).

    “I love the CZ, I have so many, many friends there, all over the country that I have met over the years. But, the CZ doesn’t want retirees in their country, like Mexico, Costa Rica, Ireland and many others. And according to your country I have no reason to be there, I cannot give a reason for staying there other than that I want to retire there, I want to buy a home, pay my taxes and live there.”

    Do you have a similar experience you would like to share?

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