Newly released figures suggest that 800,000 Czechs are suffering from diabetes. Recently, the Czech Prime Minister Mirek Topolánek revealed that he too suffers from the condition – primarily caused by stress and a poor diet. He immediately announced that he would change his lifestyle. But what of the nearly one in ten Czechs that now also suffer from the condition?
Ron Fletcher is in many ways the archetypal West Coast fitness guru. Following the death of his teacher Joseph Pilates, Fletcher moved to LA where he developed his own version of the Pilates Method. His classes in the 1970s were attended by many of Hollywood’s biggest stars, and his work helped make Pilates the world-wide exercise phenomenon it is today. Now a hale 87, Ron Fletcher is in Prague at the moment for a Pilates conference. When we met, I first asked him about his work with Joseph Pilates, which began in the 1940s.
The favoured Czech holiday destination par excellence is Croatia – with its miles of sandy beaches, beautiful coastal towns and exquisite Mediterranean cuisine. Well, actually, not many Czechs go for the cuisine - in fact a huge number of Czech tourists bring their own food with them. That obsessive self-catering seems to have irritated the Croatian authorities to such an extent that they’ve now banned tourists from bringing in meat and dairy products, to the fury of thrifty Czech visitors.
In Business News this week: the Czech and Slovak electricity markets hook up; more oilseed rape is being grown in the Czech Republic than ever before; fuel prices shoot up in the last week; Czech airlines transport over one million passengers in the first quarter, and one fifth of Czechs cannot afford a ‘square meal’ every other day says the EU.
In Mailbox today: the planned controversial National Library building; the rising status of Czech cuisine; the “dancing king” of Cambodia; May competition question – correction; a listener’s complaint about alleged discrimination in Radio Prague’s monthly quizzes. Listeners quoted: Lipa from Prague, Tony Prescott, Erin Slattery, Ian Morrison.
The Czech capital Prague has just become the first city in the former eastern bloc to receive a coveted Michelin star. The world-renowned guide to fine dining singled out the city's Allegro restaurant - located inside the Four Seasons Hotel - for dishes such as "yellow-fin tuna caramelised with ginger on panzanella tartar with sesame seeds, red onion and orange and sour tomato sorbet". It's a far cry from goulash and dumplings. But as Rob Cameron finds out in Talking Point, the standard of Czech cuisine is very much on the up.
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