In the News 7.7.09

Visa restriction debate, more floods in the country and Miloš Forman in Karlovy Vary

CZECHS IN CANADA, CANADIANS IN EUROPE. Czech Foreign Minister Jan Kohout said on Tuesday there is no indication the Canadian government was about to reintroduce the visa requirements for Czech travelers.

Up until now it looked more than certain Ottawa would re-impose visa restrictions on Czechs as of July 8.

So what has made the Canadian government avert their intention to restrict the entry of Czechs on their soil? Strong negotiating skills of the Czech caretaker government? Fear of having visa reimposed for their diplomats in revenge?

Meanwhile, Czech president Václav Klaus urged both sides to maintain travel rules without visas. Speaking to reporters on Monday, he also said it was “premature to claim the Czech Republic would retaliate by suing Canada in a European court or introducing visas for Canadian diplomats”, Czech radio reports.

The question why so many Roma people have decided to migrate to Canada between January and April (around 1000) this year remains yet unanswered.

Some of the Czech government officials keep stubbornly claiming that it is the liberal and generous allowance system of the Canadian government that attracts Czech migrants and the economic benefits they enjoy in the north American country.

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Naturally, they would not go to a country where they would not be reasonably provided for – desiring a better life is as natural as one needs to eat almost every day to stay alive. And when the conditions they face in their home country are all but unfavorable for living a decent life, no wonder people go searching elsewhere. It has been here before with migration waves anyway, hasn’t it?

“The money is good but after paying all the expenses, including the rent and kids’s school stuff, we are not left with much,” a Roma man who wanted to stay anonymous said in an interview for Czech Public Radio.

“But for the first time in my life my wife and I can enjoy eating in a restaurant with nobody giving us scornful looks.”

SWINE FLU IN CZECHS AND WITH CZECHS. The Czech Republic has now registered 15 cases of swine flu with 5 new cases only on Thursday.

All the cases are returnees from the United States with one exception (Japan). Considering 100,000 cases Great Britain anticipates emerging every day by the end of this summer, the Czechs are doing just fine.

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FLOODS STILL GRABBING HEADLINES. As predicted by Czech meterologists, more rain came, more rivers swelled and more houses and people’s lives have been destroyed.

Heartbreaking stories of people, often times pensioners, that have been left with plain nothing, keep appearing in Czech media.

“The clothes I wear and this peeler here that I bought on credit is all I have. I don’t even have an ID,” Libuše Grešáková told Aktuálně reporter. The house, Jeseník nad Odrou number 27 no longer exists. Debris, currant bushes, trees and broken car is all that is left. “They finished demolition on Tuesday,” she added sadly.´

PRAGUE OFFERS BETTER LIVING FOR EXPATS. The cost of accommodation and various items needed to live comfortably in a city have become more accessible to expatriates settling down in Prague. At least more accessible than last year.

A new study ranking 143 cities around the world how expensive they are for expats to live in, Prague has taken the 70th place. It is 40 places down compared to last year.


LESS GLITZ BUT MORE CHANCE TO MEET MILOŠ FORMAN. Karlovy Vary film festival has kicked off. For movie fans it means eight days full of film watching and for party lovers seven nights of party-going. Often times, these two traits mix in one person.

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You may not dine with film director Miloš Forman, but you can certainly meet him strolling down the spa town avenues, sipping on spa mineral water and engage in a chat, should you dare. That is what makes KV film fest different from the world class festivals.

SUMMERTIME AND THE LIVIN’ IS EASY. With four months to go before snap parliamentary elections, Civic Democrats (ODS) launched an election campaign for Czech holiday makers. Scantily clad and showing their muscles and more, four ODS leaders appear on billboards that have been placed along the road leading to popular Croatian sea sites.

On the billboards they appeal to the voters, using a popular Czech saying – there are nice places in the world but the best one is at home.

No one can dispute and no one has ever tried but let´s see if Czech holiday-makers-potential voters will appreciate being reminded of that by top politicians on their way to take time off (politics and so on).

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