I’m on a bus winding my way up the hill towards Potůčky, which is a little village on the Czech-German border. It’s in the north west of the Czech Republic, and is apparently a favourite spot for German tourists. So, we’re going to see if that is at all the case, and whether life has changed for inhabitants on both the Czech and the German side of the border three months after the Czech Republic’s entry into the Schengen zone.
For the second time this year, the city of Plzeň in West Bohemia is bracing itself for a march by neo-Nazi skinheads. As many as 400 skinheads will march down a route that takes them past Plzeň’s Great Synagogue, the second largest in Europe. Efforts to ban the march have exhausted all legal avenues; the authorities are now concentrating on keeping groups of skinheads and anti-Nazi protestors apart. And politicians are looking to how future marches can be avoided without curtailing the freedom of speech. Rob Cameron has more.
The Czech Interior Ministry has approved a proposal put forward by the North Bohemian town of Ústí nad Labem to outlaw drinking in the municipality’s public spaces. According to Saturday’s edition of Lidové noviny, the decision could act as an important precedent, leading to the prohibition of alcohol consumption in public spaces elsewhere in the Czech Republic. Other towns have greeted the Interior Ministry’s decision, and say that they will now put forward similar proposals. Prague Town Hall says it is considering trying to implement such a drinking-ban as a means of countering what it calls the problem of drunks and homeless people in the city’s parks and stations. Hradec Kralové is also working on the drafting of such legislation.
The Czech Republic’s freedom of speech and assembly laws have been tested to the full in recent months by a small but determined group of neo-Nazis. For the second time this year, the city of Plzeň in West Bohemia is bracing itself for a march by far-right radicals, and politicians are wondering whether it might not be time to prune the country’s legislation to prevent such marches from going ahead.
It is early on a Friday morning, the air is freezing and there is no sign of the sun in the sky. Yet, the creaky old Karosa bus heading towards Krkonoše or Giant Mountains is almost full when I arrive at the bus station. Many people from Prague have taken their day off in order to enjoy some snow. Unlike most of my fellow travellers, I am not heading towards the ski slopes and racing tracks. My destination is the little town of Jilemnice, crouching at the foothills of the Giant Mountains in north Bohemia. Jilemnice was one of the very first skiing
The eastern Bohemian town of Moravska Trebova is situated in an attractive part of the country. Yet, unlike other towns in the region, it hasn’t been very successful in drawing tourists. Now this is about to change, local councillors are hoping. They have introduced an ambitious project: what should become the first real-life Czech fairy tale kingdom.
More and more Czechs are abandoning large cities to enjoy the peace and quiet of the countryside, suggests a new survey by the Czech Statistical Office. Central Bohemia has become by far the most popular region, with more than 62 % of all moves taking place there. However, Czechs don’t travel too far from the cities, so that they can still enjoy the advantages of modern civilization.
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