Welcome to Spotlight, Radio Prague's travel programme taking you on a continuing journey through the Czech lands. In today's edition, though, not a destination but a look at trends in tourism. This week, the state-run agency CzechTourism, together with the private Association of Czech Travel Agencies, released tourism statistics for 2005 as well as the forecast for 2006. According to the survey, the outlook for the Czech tourist industry this year will once again be favourable.
Prague's Wenceslas Square is the best known thoroughfare in the Czech Republic, and the site of many key moments in the nation's history. But today Wenceslas Square is perhaps not the best of advertisements for the Czech Republic, having earned a reputation for crimes such as drug dealing and prostitution. Now Prague City Hall has launched a campaign to clean it up.
Swedish terrorist suspect Oussama Kassir, who was detained in Prague on Sunday, has accused the FBI of "manufacturing" a case against him, adding that it was "politically directed against Islam". In a statement released by his Czech lawyer, the 39-year old Swedish national said the United States wanted to embarrass the Swedish and Czech governments. Mr Kassir, the subject of an international arrest warrant for allegedly abetting terrorists was arrested as he stepped off a plane at Prague airport on Sunday evening on his way from Stockholm to Beirut. Sweden has never agreed to extradite Mr Kassir, who originates from Lebanon and has Swedish citizenship.
Over the past decade or so, visitors have been flocking to Prague in ever-increasing numbers. Many of them have been attracted by tales of the city's beautiful, well-preserved architecture, which embraces many different styles ranging from the imposing gothic grandeur of St Vitus' Cathedral to the baroque opulence of St. Nicholas' Church. This upsurge in tourism has resulted in a swathe of development projects across the Czech capital aimed at meeting the demands of visitors to the city. Critics say such initiatives pose a threat to the architectural
The Czech capital, Prague, has been named the wealthiest city in the ten countries that joined the European Union in May last year. A European Commission survey known as the Urban Audit also measured the quality of life in 258 cities in the European Union. Prague did especially well in terms of culture, ranking fifth in terms of the number of museums per capita and seventh in the number of theatres.
Up to two percent of the European Union's population could die if a flu pandemic were to break out, according to the grimmest prognosis made at a WHO conference in Prague on Sunday. In an interview for the CTK news agency, Professor Albert Osterhaus from the Rotterdam university medical centre Erasmus MC warned the EU has prepared little for a possible flu pandemic, despite the fact that the lives of up to five million people are at risk. Professor Osterhaus says an action plan ought to be drawn up in Brussels for all EU member states to follow in the case of a pandemic.
Some fifty extremists gathered in front of the Austrian embassy in Prague on Saturday to call for the release of British historian and Holocaust denier David Irving. A group of ten men and women, among them Nazi concentration camp survivors, protested against the legal extremists' gathering and were escorted away by the police. David Irving, who is barred from entering Germany, Austria, Canada, and Australia, was arrested in Vienna last month on a 1989 warrant.
Two German companies have applied for permission to burn 80,000 tonnes
of waste in the Prague district of Malesice, Lidove noviny reported on
Friday. A Czech Environment Ministry spokesperson said it was currently
unclear whether permission would be given.
There is a shortage of incinerator capacity in Germany, while incinerators in the Czech Republic are working at 55 percent of capacity, the daily said.
Language exams for foreigners seeking permanent residency permit to become tougher
Czech teenager builds second-largest ever Millennium Falcon LEGO model
Gunman kills six patients in Ostrava hospital, two more fighting for their lives
HN: Developers aiming to sell co-living concept in Prague
Press: Era of 100-crown lunch special is over, as food prices rocket