Goodbye Europe and See Ya in 14 years! (Sbohem Evropo a uvidíme se za 14 let!)

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Today the official act of passing the EU glass relay pin to the next country, Sweden, ended the EU presidency by the Czech Republic. The Czech Republic presided over the European Union for an entire six months. This special task was very challenging for the country taking into consideration the worldwide economic situation, the dissolution of the government and other activities associated with this task. We should not forget about the infamous Entropa display in Brussels that made our presidency less forgettable than the colorful logo and its slogan “Europe in Sweet Harmony.” Continue reading

Other Countries Fire Back on Entropa and Humiliate Czechs (Ostatní země Reagují na Entropu a Ponižují Čechy)

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To mark its presidency over the EU, the Czech government wanted to create a sculpture of all countries, named Entropa, of the European Union. These pieces of art were supposed to be the work of artists from each country of the union. David Cerny, a Czech artist was selected as the leader of this project that would be displayed in Brussels, Belgium. When the final work was revealed, it not only shocked everybody due to the fact that the only author of this work was Cerny and his affiliates, but the sculpture itself humiliated several countries, such as Germany, Latvia, or Bulgaria. Many European artists wanted to react to Entropa and created caricatures of the Czech Republic through their eyes.

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Keep Up With Czech EU Presidency Activities (Držte Krok s Aktivitami Českého Předsednictví EU)

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(www.icm.cz)

Two weeks ago we announced the official celebration of the Czech Republic assuming the EU presidency. We also provided you with the first video that described a summary of the initial activities associated with this rotation. Since some of you would like to keep up with the series, we have created a whole page that will be updated with each new sequence. You can, of course, find the videos at the Czech TV website in the section iVysilani. Unfortunately, the videos are mostly for Czech or Slovak native speakers since we are not able to provide periodic translations for all the videos. We will, however, keep you updated in our English/Czech articles in the future.

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Twenty Years Later – Europe Still Occupied by Russia (O Dvacet Let Později – Evropa Stále Obsazena Ruskem)

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It has been twenty years since the fall of communism and when we look back, we are amazed how different we used to live. It may seem that the former Eastern Bloc countries have moved on towards independence and freedom, but is it really true? The recent affair with Russian natural gas showed us again how much these countries are still dependent on this powerful country. This was a tough time for Europe, but it showed that EU countries could overcome this burden by helping each other during tough times. What will they do to make sure this won’t happen again?

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Slovak Government Creates Protective Measures against World’s Financial Crisis (Slovensko Vytvari Ochranne Meritka proti Svetove Financni Krizi)

Clanek v CESTINE dole.

 

Less than a month ago Jan Pociatek, Slovakia’s Finance Minister, stated that the Slovakian financial sector mostly invested in the domestic economy and not risky mortgage markets. Based on this statement, loses on these markets would have only a small effect on their financial market.

 

In addition, the Slovak government wanted to assure the public that there was no financial crisis threat and recently also approved a legislative proposal to protect money deposits in Slovak banks to a full 100 percent instead of the original 90 percent — up to ~600,000 Sk (~$27,000). The Slovak parliament must approve this initiative later this month.

 

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Green Cards in the Czech Republic (Zelené Karty v České Republice)

Clanek v CESTINE dole.

On Friday, Sept 19th 2008, the Czech Senate approved a bill amendment that would make it easier to attract qualified staff from abroad to the Czech Republic. This movement is expected to bolster the Czech Republic’s supply of skilled workers from outside the European Union. If the amendment is signed by the president, the first green cards could be issued in January 2009. People’s reactions vary, though. Will this movement do any harm to the Czech nation?

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Czechs Work the Hardest (Cesi Jsou Nejupracovanejsi)

The European Foundation for the Improvement of Living and Working Conditions reports that most of new members of EU, including Czech Republic, work much longer for less vacation.

 

Based on the report, Bulgarian, Romanian and Czech workers spend at work over 40 hours a week, while average working hours in France, Italy and Denmark are less than 40 per week. Unfortunately, paid holidays don’t reflect the overtime in countries such as Czech Republic, Slovakia, Bulgaria, Cyprus, Estonia and Romania. Their average paid time off is about 21.9 days per year. Conversely, Sweden workers get 33 days of vacation per year, Norway 26.7 days, and Greece 23 days, increasing the EU average of 25.2 days per year.

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