In a bid to tackle child obesity, the European Union wants to subsidise the hand-out of free fruit and vegetables in Czech schools. The system has already been tried in other EU member states, but may be rejected by Czech MPs, many of whom claim that it is up to parents, not politicians, to dictate how children eat.
There was plenty going on on Prague’s Wenceslas Square this week – and a lot at stake. While at the top end of the square people were signing petitions against the siting of a US radar in the Czech Republic, at its lower end a sausage vendor was fighting his own battle against the town hall’s decision to get him evicted.
Karlovy Vary is best-known for its health-giving waters. I’m right now inside the Sprudl Colonnade, or Vridelni kolonada, where people are filling up their special spa water mugs with all types of the hot, sulphurous stuff. But, for eight days a year, the attention shifts elsewhere, and a different crowd comes to Karlovy Vary for the biggest film festival in Central and Eastern Europe. This year, the festival has been bigger, busier and better than ever, here are just a few of the highlights…
The Karlovy Vary International Film Festival is one of the highlights on the Czech cultural calendar. In this, its 43rd year, the festival promises to be bigger than ever. It all kicks off in two weeks’ time in the pretty Bohemian spa town, but ahead of the grand opening, organizers held a meeting in Prague on Monday, to drop a few hints about what could be expected. I spoke to program director Julietta Sichel about what would be new at the festival this year:
Thousands of Czechs are offering their couches to travelers within the international CouchSurfing Project. Is that a puffball or a truffle? And, the logo of the Czech police force is being used to help sell a variety of articles from knickers to beer glasses. Find out more in Magazine with Daniela Lazarova.
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.
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