Czech farmers are planning to stage another demonstration in Prague in protest at conditions set by the European Union for farmers from candidate countries. Speaking to journalists on Monday, the head of the Czech Agricultural Chamber, Vaclav Hlavacek, said that between 5,000 to 10,000 farmers are expected to flock to the Czech capital to gather in front of the Agriculture Ministry and head for the seat of the European Commission's delegation. According to Mr Hlavacek, talks on the "agriculture" chapter with the EU are unsatisfactory as farmers need a full volume of direct payments in order to be able to compete on the EU market. EU officials, on the other hand, stress that farmers of the candidate countries, including the Czech Republic, would not be worse off after EU membership than they were before.
It's one of the most beautiful regions in the Czech Republic, dubbed the Czech Switzerland, an area of extensive quiet forestland, hilly countryside and unique sandstone cliffs and river gorges that were captured by Romantic painters in the 19th century. Two years ago the region was officially declared a national park, and, as Jan Velinger reports, it is an area that has been much enjoyed by tourists from all over the world.
Drinkers of Czech Budweiser beer in Great Britain have nothing to fear as the brewery gets the go ahead from a British court to continue selling the famous Czech lager. The Budweiser Budvar brewery in South Bohemia, has been locked in a lengthy battle with Anheuser-Busch, the world's largest brewer, over the well-established Budweiser name. The trademark dispute has been going on for almost a hundred years and continues to be fought in courtrooms throughout the world.
Czech negotiators in Brussels only have six weeks left to complete delicate talks on the agriculture chapter, crucial for the Czech Republic to join the EU. In order to reinforce flagging support for the union among Czech farmers, the EU Agriculture Commissioner, Franz Fischler visited Prague this week. He met the Ministers of Agriculture of all the ten future member states to patch up the row over the future of the agriculture sector. Dita Asiedu reports:
The Czech Republic is famous the world over for its beer, and the Czechs drink more beer per head than any other nation in the world, with the average person downing over 300 half-litres a year. Even though most Czech pubs only serve one brand of beer, you are still offered two different strengths of pivo (beer) - ten degree or the more expensive twelve degree.
Some two to three thousand Czech farmers worried about their livelihoods made their voices heard on Wednesday morning as they gathered in Prague to march to the Office of the Government and both houses of Parliament. Armed with a petition with over 100,000 signatures, the farmers called for an increase in state support to prevent the financial crisis they believe is facing the agricultural sector. Radio Prague's Rob Cameron joined the procession and spoke to us from just outside the Chamber of Deputies:
At this time of the year fishermen across the country drain their ponds and lakes for the big haul. The annual netting of fish is a popular event which many locals like to attend, sipping tea laced with rum as they watch the fishermen go about their work. However due to the August floods, which swept the fish right out of pond basins, "netting" in many parts of north and south Bohemia is a sorry sight, with fisherman pulling out half empty nets. How have the floods affected Czech fisheries -and how long will it take for them to get back on their
The Czech agriculture sector is facing a rocky season this year. Following the devastating floods in August, harvests are far worse than average and it looks as though neither the government nor the EU will come to the rescue with financial help. Furthermore, progress in the EU enlargement process was dealt a blow on Tuesday, when the Netherlands stated that they would block expansion if reform of the EU's costly farm aid policy were to fail. In Brussels this week EU representatives as well as candidate countries have come together for a summit
As the Czech Republic aims to close remaining legislative chapters in preparation for accession to the European Union, and the accession date of 2004 looms near, Czechs, too, must prepare for changes ahead that will take some getting used to in everyday life. One of the changes coming up: new names for some traditional Czech products, such as Czech rum, a beloved domestic product that has been a staple of Czech baking, festivities, and pub-life for well over a hundred years. As of January 1st, 2003 it will still be possible to buy the beverage,
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