Unfortunate circumstance have forced me to spend more time in hospitals in recent weeks than I would like to, although I was lucky to be only a visitor, not a patient. Still, going to hospitals is usually not a cheerful experience, unless you are visiting a friend who has just had a baby. The dimly lit corridors and smell of germicide make me feel uneasy as soon as I open the door. However, in spite of this grim atmosphere there is something rather nice about old hospital buildings in Prague.
In Business News: the Finance Ministry and the Czech National Bank agree on measures to fight the fast appreciation of the crown; the central bank’s governor says it is keeping interest rates low in order to avoid further firming of the Czech currency; the foreign trade surplus increased by ten percent; a new body is set up to prepare for euro adoption; and the biggest urban building project since 1989 gets underway in Prague.
Apparently Prague is not just a favourite destination for the millions of tourists who descend on the city each year, but also for the majority of students in the Czech Republic, who have rated it as the most popular place to study in the country. A report co-sponsored by Prague's School of Economics found that the capital is the preferred choice, for reasons ranging from increased employment possibilities, a livelier cultural and social scene to the fact that more courses are offered than elsewhere. The report looked at 24 towns and all 14 of
Prague Castle has paid of a debt that led, some weeks ago, to the castle being placed under administration. This comes as a result of pressure by Czech religious groups offering to buy the debt. In the end, this did not happen, and the castle has apparently paid off the monies owed. Specifically, the case relates to unpaid fees of 1.4 million crowns the castle allegedly owed to the company Gema Art Group.
Prague Mayor Pavel Bém has announced that motorists in the Czech capital can expect to pay a congestion charge as of 2010. Following the lead of several other European cities, Prague is set to charge those driving into the centre of town up to three euros for the privilege. The fine details are yet to be worked out, but already, motorists’ groups are unhappy.
In Sports News this Monday: Czech tennis players Tomáš Berdych and Radek Štěpánek are through to the fourth round, though Lucie Šafářová has been knocked out; Czech football captain Tomáš Rosický has been speaking about the mysterious injury that has kept him out since January; Bundesliga star David Jarolím is sent off after grabbing an opponent by the genitals; and the first 11 runners to cross the finish line in the Prague Half Marathon are all from Kenya.
Don't ask me why, but one of the first things I noticed when I moved from Cologne to Prague, was that I didn't understand what lay behind many of the metro station or street names here in the Golden City. The names I'd left behind were, at least for me, entirely comprehensible, logical and reasonable. Now in Prague, however, my familiar Heumarkt, Neumarkt, Altstadt and Beethovenstrasse seemed far away when faced with the likes of Smíchovské nádraží, I.P. Pavlova, or Pražského Povstání. Mind you, I barely understood anything written or spoken in
The sun has just come out over Prague’s Old Town Square, and the Easter market is now looking a lot less sodden - and a lot more appealing - than it was five minutes ago. So, I’m going to take advantage of this little window of good weather to ask some of the people shopping at the Easter market about what they are buying, and some of the stall holders about the traditional crafts that they are selling.
A court has put Prague Castle and the adjacent St Vitus’ Cathedral under administration at the request of an Italian company which says the castle’s operators owe it around one million crowns (the equivalent of 62 thousand US dollars). The Castle Administration is appealing the ruling. The head of the president’s office Jiří Weigl told Czech Radio on Friday there was no threat of a forced sale of Castle property, saying the necessary funds were available to cover the debt but the Castle Administration is waiting to see if the Supreme Court upheld the latest ruling. The dispute goes back to 2001, when the firm GEMA Art took part in an exhibition on Renaissance and Baroque artists.
Czech researchers develop top-grade respirator for 3D printing
Why Chinese masks destined for Italy were seized (not ‘stolen’) by Czech authorities
A mask-tree as a form of solidarity
Economist Tomáš Sedláček: A positive look at the coronavirus crisis
Government to extend restrictions on movement until April 1st