Marsha Kocabova is a former modern ballet dancer from North Carolina who almost overnight ended up at the side of a prominent dissident in communist Czechoslovakia. Her husband Michael Kocab was the frontman of the popular 1980s underground rock group Prazsky Vyber, which was banned by the Communists; her daughter Natalie is now one of the country's most successful young up-and-coming writers and singers. More
The Labour Ministry says that more than 198,700 foreigners legally worked in the Czech Republic in April, almost 14,000 more than at the end of 2006. It is estimated that further tens of thousands of foreigners work in the Czech Republic illegally. The number of foreign workers increases every month. The figure is believed to be rising not only because of the Czech Republic's EU membership but also thanks to the improving working and living conditions and the country's economic growth. The strongest group of foreign workers are Slovaks, followed by Ukrainians and Poles.
Current AffairsNon-EU foreigners could have a harder time getting residence permits in the Czech Republic
Foreign nationals from outside the EU seeking to obtain permanent residence in the Czech Republic need to arm themselves with patience - lots of paperwork, long queues at the foreign police and a five-year wait before they can obtain the Czech equivalent of the Green Card. There are, of course, ways of getting round these hurdles such as sham marriages and certificates of fatherhood. However the interior ministry has now put its foot down and a newly proposed amendment to the foreigners' law - aimed at curbing these practices - could make life more difficult for all. More
According to figures released by the Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs, a total of 194,400 foreigners were legally employed in the Czech Republic in March, which is 6,400 more than in the previous month. According to the figures, the number of foreigners working in the Czech Republic grew by 43,000 in the past year, with most people coming from Slovakia and Ukraine. Apart from legally employed foreigners tens of thousands of people from other countries work in the Czech Republic illegally, according to estimates. The number of legally employed foreigners is believed to be growing mainly due to the Czech Republic's EU membership and the country's economic growth.
Any English speaker living in a foreign country has at some stage or another encountered some fairly dodgy English translations. Every ex-pat I know has a funny tale to tell of notorious translation cock-ups, most commonly found in hotels and restaurants. More
At the end of March, Czech Parliament will discuss a new amendment to the law concerning illegal foreign residents in this country. If the bill is approved, helping unregistered foreigners would be considered a criminal offence in the future, which could have far-reaching implications for people who may come into contact with illegal aliens in a professional capacity, such as doctors and lawyers. More
The number of foreigners working legally in the Czech Republic rose significantly in the last year, according to figures released by the Labour Ministry. There were almost 190,000 foreign citizens working legally in this country in the period to the end of February; that is 40,000 more than in the previous twelve months. Half the foreign workers are Slovaks, with Poles making up the second biggest group.
If you have been to a Czech wedding any time in the last few decades, you are probably familiar with the classic format: the same bleak communist-era town hall with an uninterested official repeating the same old clichés, the same Wedding March, and even the exact same menu in a local restaurant afterwards. But just as so many other things have changed in Czech society in recent years, Czechs weddings, too, are becoming a whole different affair. More
There are hundreds of North Korean women working in the Czech Republic under a system in which half of the money they earn is said to go straight to Pyongyang. They have even been described as modern day slaves. After several years of controversy the women will be soon be going home - thanks to international politics, not the Czech authorities. More
Irishman Niall Keyes is the managing director of Grafton Recruitment and is responsible for the agency's activities across the central and eastern European region. After almost a decade and a half in the recruitment business in this part of the world, he has lots of insights into how the labour market has changed here in that period. I discussed that issue and more with him at his Prague centre office. More