Czech Republic. According to
Countryaah.com, the Czech Republic was hit by a
government crisis since the election the year before. The
victor Andrej Babiš and his party Ano (Disgruntled Citizens'
Action) got no coalition partners, as one of Babiš companies
was investigated for cheating with EU grants. Babiš and Ano
sought to form a minority government but voted down in
parliament in January. President Miloš Zeman gave Babiš
another chance to form a government and in the meantime lead
an expedition minister.
Zeman himself faced presidential elections. The EU and
immigrant-critical but Putin- and Trump-friendly Zeman were
challenged primarily by Jiří Drahoš, former president of the
Czech Academy of Sciences. Drahoš warned of both Putin and
populism, emphasizing the importance of education, science
and environmental care.
Zeman won the first round of the presidential election
with just over 38% of the vote against just over 26% for
Drahoš. Nine candidates took part in the election and the
two main ones made a decisive round at the end of January.
The two diametrically different candidates had equal support
in public opinion, which was seen as evidence of the
nation's deep divide. However, Zeman was the strongest in
the TV debates and won the second round with just over 51%
of the vote against just under 49% for Drahoš.
When Miloš Zeman was installed in March for his second
term as president, he attacked a mining magnate and media
mogul and his media, who often criticized him. Zeman also
accused state-run Czech TV of bias. The speech was widely
criticized, and in Prague, thousands of people demonstrated
against Zeman and against Babiš and in support of freedom of
Negotiations between Prime Minister Babiš Party Ano and
the Social Democrats to form a coalition broke down in
April. The news was followed by demonstrations in Prague
with protests against Babiš and demands for "a decent
President Zeman wanted the Czech Republic to follow the
example of the United States and move its embassy in Israel
from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. The government, however, stuck
to the EU's line on the matter but assigned honorary
consulates and the Czech cultural center to Jerusalem. When
the EU voted in favor of joint condemnation of the US
embassy move, the Czech Republic vetoed it. When Zeman later
visited Israel, he promised to do his best for an embassy
move, but noted that he was unfortunately not a dictator.
The Babiš minority government relied in Parliament on the
support of the Communists and the right-wing party Freedom
and Direct Democracy. In June, however, Babiš managed to
form a coalition with the Social Democrats. It was also in
the minority but was supported by the Communist Party and
approved in Parliament.
The government party Ano ran an immigrant-critical
policy, and in November the government decided to withdraw
from the UN's new global framework for migration, like
several neighboring countries.
Prague, Czech Praha, capital of the Czech Republic; 1. 2 million
residents (2014). Prague, located on the Vltava River (Moldova), is an important
administrative, industrial, transport and cultural center with ever-growing
The main works of the late medieval Bohemian painting can be found in the
National Gallery, which also has rich international collections, and the gallery
in St. George's Monastery. Prague is also a major theater and music city with,
among other things, the Theater Laterna Magika and three opera scenes, Tylovo
divadlo (Tylteatern), inaugurated in 1783, the National Theater, inaugurated in
1881, burned down and re-inaugurated in 1883, and the Smetanateatern,
inaugurated in 1888 as a German-language stage (since 1945 Czech). Since 1946,
an annual international music festival, Pražské jaro (Prague Spring) is
organized. In 2000, Prague was the European Capital of Culture.
Prague is the country's economic center. Although the city's business sector
has undergone a major change from being industry-dominated to becoming more
service- and service-oriented, the city still has several important industrial
companies. Nowadays, however, about 80% of the workforce works in the service
and service industries; tourism, finance, media and government administration
are some of the most important industries. Important industrial industries
include electrical, food and chemical technology. Most post-war industries were
located on the outskirts of the city, especially in the east.
Prague is the country's most important road and rail junction. There are
three major railway stations and two river ports. Ruzyně International Airport
is 10 km west of the city center. Prague is also the starting point for
Vltava-Elbe shipping with significant tourist traffic.
In addition to the bus and tram lines since 1974, city traffic is provided by
a subway system that includes three lines.
Architecture and cityscape
Prague is the architecturally richest of Central Europe's major cities with
the 1300s and the Baroque as the most important building stage and with the
castles of Hradčany and Staré Město (Old Town) as particularly densified
environments. Within Hradčany are the Romanesque St. George's Church (founded
920) and St. Veitsdomen, begun in 1344 by Matthias of Arras and continued in
1353-99 by Peter Parler, who is also the author of the large collection of
portrait busts in the court triforium and the Charles Bridge (1357). The same
stage includes the Tyn Church (founded 1135, rebuilt from 1365), the town hall
with famous astronomical clock from the 1400s and the Old Synagogue (1270) in
Staré Město. A rich late Gothic interior is characterized by the Coronation Hall
in Hradčany (1480–1502, Benedikt von Ried).
An early example of Renaissance architecture is the Belvedere Castle (begun
in 1536), and among the many noble palaces in the district of Malá Strana
(Little Side) on the left bank is particularly noticeable the large Wallenstein
Palace (1624-30). From the latter part of the 17th century, a southern German
and Italian inspired Baroque style dominated, which has meant a lot to the
city's face. Examples include the Clam-Gallas Palace (1713-19, JB Fischer von
Erlach) and a large number of Catholic churches, including Saint Nicholas
(1732–37, see picture Dientzenhofer ).
Nové Město (New Town), built in the middle of the 13th century south of Staré
Město, is dominated by the avenue-like, almost kilometer-long Wenceslas Square,
the center of modern city life. Later buildings in the district are especially
notable for the National Theater (1868–83, Josef Zítek). A functionalist
pioneering work is the Pension Office's huge office building in the Žižkov
district (1930–32, Karel Honzík and Josef Havlíček). As one of the few major
cities in Central Europe, Prague avoided destruction during the Second World
War. Since 1992, the city's historic center has been included on UNESCO's World