Angela Merkel invited me

I have friends who recently emigrated from the Czech Republic to northern Germany in the hope of a better education and life for their chidren. Their timing could not have been worse.

Cologne New Year’s Eve violence

Czech Prime Minister’s Office raided by anti-corruption police

I started writing my recently-published book ‘No Smoke’ three years ago. One of the main themes of the book is corruption in government. I feel justified in my choice of subject matter today because of this.

Read more about the large-scale raids on Czech government offices here at the BBC.

Sources: Radio Prague, BBC.

Czech scientists invent flying bicycle

Wonder if this will ever take off? Czech researchers have successfully flown a bicycle.

Source: BBC.

Now if only they can think of way to stamp out bicycle theft. Regrettably it’s a Czech national pastime; only last weekend my six-year-old nephew was deprived of his – at his village sports day, would you believe?

Prague Spring

Well, what a weekend to pick to go and visit relatives in the eastern Czech Republic! While we sat in the garden enjoying welcome sunshine, we were totally unaware of what was brewing not many kilometres to the west of us. The worst floods for five hundred years in Passau on the river Danube, central Prague under water and even in Vienna the Danube was bursting its banks! Blissfully ignorant I arrived at Vienna’s West station on Sunday evening to take the overnight sleeper train to Zurich, and was devastated to find it cancelled. Managed to find a reasonably-priced (28 euros) place to stay in town and got up at the crack of dawn to try my luck at the airport. Huge queues, and nothing available till mid-afternoon. Finally got home at ten pm. That’s life. On the bright side while I was waiting for my flight I was able to spend the morning exploring Vienna, which has to be my one of my favourite cities. First I took a train as far as the Danube to check out the water level. In places the great river had overflowed onto the walkways and cycle tracks and in the rest it wasn’t far off, and the water was flowing powerfully below the bridges. Then I took tram number 2 on a mystery tour and ended up outside the Opera, where I hopped off and joined the tourists exploring the historic city centre. No sign of anything untoward here. Business as usual.

In contrast here’s how it looks in state-of-emergency Prague.


While the Chinese baby who survived being flushed down the toilet is all over the news this week, let’s spare a thought for two new-borns in the Czech Republic who weren’t so lucky.

Czech Republic against relaxing arms embargo to Syria.

The Czech Republic is against relaxing the arms embargo to Syria.   

Speaking ahead of an EU meeting of foreign ministers in Brussels Czech Foreign Minister Karel Schwarzenberg said the Czech Republic would join Austria, Finland, Sweden and the Netherlands in opposing such a move, not least because more weapons would only lead to further violence and in the present situation there is no saying where they might end up.   

Responding to the argument that more weapons would help the opposition force President Assad into a negotiated settlement, Foreign Minister Schwarzenberg pointed out that the opposition in Syria was already getting weapons from Qatar, Saudi Arabia and Turkey and that had not helped it oust the regime.           

Source: Radio Prague                                  

Big explosion in central Prague

This morning a powerful explosion rocked central Prague. There are injuries and much damage.