Czech the News
Message from the Ambassador
The month of May began with news of the U.S. being voted out of their U.N. Human Rights Commission membership, and ended with an announcement about the final deal for compensation of slave labor by German industries. The compensation, which was negotiated through the longtime effort of American lawyers, was only possible due to the peculiarities of the U.S. legal system. Perhaps, more than anything else, this paradox illustrates the confusion in the ongoing debate about America's role in today's world.
It is true that America has become a primary target of criticism --the European diplomats in Washington are no exception, as I witness almost daily. America's refusal of the Kyoto and land mines ban treaties, its stance on capital punishment, missile defense, sanctions, English on the Internet and whatever else, is allegedly confirming the arrogance of the only remaining superpower. Now, almost every anti-American critic has positioned himself as an expert on the environment, defense or human rights.
However, it is also a matter of fact that most of those critical and controversial views originated in America itself: the theory of global warming came from American universities; the Nobel Peace Prize awarded for a campaign to ban land mines went to a woman from Vermont; the mutual assured destruction theory and ABM Treaty, which are the sacrosanct of missile defense opponents, were written in the Pentagon decades ago. And yet, the ultimate symbol of "cultural imperialism"--McDonalds, was established by a Czech immigrant.
The truth is not so simple. A balanced approach advises us that we are witnessing two complementary and mutually reinforcing trends: an Americanization of the world and the globalization of America. To balance the current criticism, I would like, on behalf of the Czech victims of Nazi persecution, to thank America for paving the road to their compensation -- the first one after more than fifty years. And also, on behalf of freedom fighters, I hope to see the U.S. regain membership in the Commission next year. America deserves it and we need her.
President Havel Speaks at Bratislava Conference
On May 10 -12, 2001, heads of governments from Europe’s new democracies, current and former politicians, government officials, policy-makers, non-governmental experts, analysts, and journalists joined Slovakian Prime Minister Dzurinda in the Slovak capital of Bratislava for an international conference entitled, Europe’s New Democracies: Leadership and Responsibility.
The conference was a continuation of the dialogue and process that began a year ago in Vilnius, when nine new democracies expressed their resolve to work together in their aspirations to integrate into NATO and the EU. Central and East European countries present at the Bratislava conference reaffirmed their desire to join NATO and the EU and to create a whole and free Europe.
The Washington Post called Czech President Vaclav Havel's remarkable address ”the strongest statement yet on the merits of NATO expansion into the Baltic region by a leading politician from the Alliance.”
The conference attracted a lot of attention from experts and journalists, but more importantly, from the decision-makers. President George W. Bush wrote in a letter to conference participants that: ”Since the fall of the Iron Curtain, the opening of NATO has strengthened the forces of democracy and free markets throughout the continent. These processes must continue. NATO must be open to all of Europe’s democracies ready and able to meet NATO’s obligations and contribute to Europe’s security. No part of Europe will be excluded because of history or geography. ”
The Bratislava conference was a major step not only in launching discussion about the next round of NATO enlargement, but more importantly, in confirming the participating countries' strong resolve to work together as partners.
Slave Workers to Receive Compensation
On May 21, 2001, the U.S. District Court of the Southern District of New York dismissed the last of the complaints brought by Holocaust survivors against German companies. Judge Shirley Kram thus cleared the way for payments to be made to Nazi victims of slave and forced labor from the German Foundation, "Remembrance, Responsibility and Future."
The dismissal of all Nazi-era lawsuits pending against German businesses was one of the conditions for the implementation of the Berlin Agreement of July 17, 2000, reached after two years of negotiations between the United States, Germany and German industry, victims groups, the State of Israel, and five Central and Eastern European nations including the Czech Republic.
During the May 21 hearing, Judge Kram expressed thanks for the efforts made by the Central and Eastern European delegations and Michael Hausfeld of the Washington law firm, Cohen Milstein Hausfeld & Toll, for removing any legal hurdles that remained in the way of the payments.
More than 80,000 residents of the Czech Republic have already registered their claims. Survivors of forced labor in concentration camps, ghettoes, or comparable conditions are eligible to receive DM 15,000; those deported to work in the German Reich are eligible to receive DM 5,000. Victims of Nazi racial persecution will be eligible for compensation for any property losses caused through the participation of German companies.
The agreement on the German Foundation and the payments to individual Nazi victims are especially important to residents of the Czech Republic. Although many individuals with Holocaust-era claims have received compensation in the post-war years, both Jewish and non-Jewish Nazi victims residing in the Communist-ruled Czechoslovakia were denied any compensation by Germany. Therefore, special recognition is due to the lawyers and government officials in the United States and Germany who helped to remove one of the remnants of the Cold War by insisting on the equal treatment of Nazi victims, irrespective of their place of residence.
Economic Growth May Climb to 4 Percent This Year
Prime Minister Zeman reiterated his bullish outlook for the Czech economy, saying that GDP could grow by 4 percent this year and 5 percent in 2002. According to the Prime Minister, the economy's growth potential was around six percent, a level which could be achieved in 2003-2004. Such growth rates would help the country to gradually catch up with the output levels in the European Union, which the Czechs hope to join in 2003 or 2004. However, the Prime Minister did warn that a major deceleration in Europe could considerably slow the Czech economy. The EU accounts for more than two thirds of the Czech Republic's foreign trade. Prime Minister Zeman added that the country has finally recovered from the recession of 1998-1999; the economy grew at a faster-than-expected 3.1 percent last year. The Finance Ministry has previously estimated a 3.0 percent growth this year, while analysts agree on 3.4 percent.
New Defense Minister
Pesident Vaclav Havel accepted Defense Minister Vladimir Vetchy’s resignation and subsequently appointed Deputy Defense Minister for Economic Affairs Mr. Jaroslav Tvrdik as his successor. Former Minister Vetchy had been criticized over the last few months for not resolving the Ministry's and the Army's financial problems. Minister Tvrdik, who plans to reduce bureaucracy and make Army financing more transparent, is to submit his plan for Armed Forces reform by the end of July. Mr. Tvrdik indicated overall personnel reforms in the Ministry that include employing more civilians who will focus on the most important projects concerning military development. These changes might launch a re-evaluation or reduction of expensive weapon projects, including the purchase of L-159 combat aircraft from Aero Vodochody or the modernization of T-72 tanks.
T.G.M. Memorial on the Hill
The Subcommittee on National Parks and Public Lands of the House Committee on resources held hearings concerning H.R. 1161, the bill authorizing the government of the Czech Republic and its designee, the American Friends of the Czech Republic, to establish a memorial in honor of Tomas Garrigue Masaryk in Washington, DC on May 8.
The bill's sponsor, the Honorable Benjamin Gilman (R-NY), presented his reasons for championing the bill. His speech was supported by arguments from AFoCR President Mr. Milton Cerny and Mr. Michael Novak, a prominent political scientist of Slovak descent.
The project has also achieved the support of the National Park Service, represented by its Associate Regional Director Mr. John G. Parsons, who recommended making minor changes in two provisions of the bill.
The Subcommittee, chaired by Honorable Joel Hefley (R-CO), expressed unanimous support of the project at the end of the session.
For more information on the T.G. Masaryk statue project please see CTN March and May 2001.
President Havel Delivers a Historic Speech in Bratislava
President Vaclav Havel participated at a conference entitled "Europe's New Democracies: Leadership and Responsibility". The conference, hosted by Slovakia´s Prime Minister Mikulas Dzurinda, focused on the efforts of Central and East European countries to join NATO as well as the European Union (details on Page 1).
The highlights of President Havel´s speech follow. A full version is available on the Czech Embassy web page at www.mzv.cz/washington
Ladies and gentlemen,
In the Czech Republic - and probably most of the countries of central, eastern or southern Europe that have freed themselves from Communism - you often hear it said that we belong, or want to belong, to the West; that we share Western values and, indeed, helped to shape them during our long history; that our affiliation to the West was severed by force, partly in a way with the West's tacit consent; and, that the West is therefore duty bound to do everything within its power in order that we soon return into the fold. We do not see this merely as a matter of equity toward our nations, or as a reparation for the West's onetime participation in the division of Europe, but also as a vital interest to the West itself, because any attempt at its permanent division would inevitably have tragic consequences in the future . . .
. . . The European post-Communist countries truly belong to the West -geographically, historically, culturally as well as in terms of their values. Thus they have every right to stress that they were torn out of the Western community by force and that their natural place is within that community. . .
. . . The Baltic states, on the other hand, make it clear that - not only geographically, but also through their history and culture - they consider themselves to be part of the West and, therefore, have an eminent interest in joining NATO. We all know that they were independent states before the war and the Soviet Union annexed them by force on the basis of the criminal Ribbentrop-Molotov pact. I fail to understand why these three free countries should not be offered membership as soon as possible, especially as they are working hard to be ready for it. Yielding to some geopolitical or geostrategic interests of Russia, or perhaps merely to its concern for its prestige, would be the worst thing that the Alliance could do in this respect. . .
. . . There is not much time left: any further delay would make admission of these countries more difficult. I therefore believe that the invitation to join the Alliance should be extended to them at the next NATO summit in Prague.
There is yet another reason for taking this step: Refusal to invite these states out of consideration for the feelings or the strategic thoughts of the Kremlin would ultimately amount to admitting that Russia's fears of NATO's expanding to the three Baltic states are justified and that NATO really harbors aggressive or imperialist anti-Russian intentions.
Ladies and gentlemen,
As you know, in the summer of 1991 Prague witnessed the dissolution of the Warsaw Pact, a onetime instrument of Soviet hegemony over a large part of Europe. It is marvelous that a historic turn of events will now be completed when Prague -not so long ago a city behind the Iron Curtain -will host the next summit of NATO. I believe that the city of Prague, the ancient crossroads of both bitter and hopeful developments in European history, is worthy of this great honor. If ten years ago it was the scene of the ultimate collapse of the bipolar division of the world - a dark product of the imperialist aggression of Stalinist Communism - it will be, to my mind, entirely consistent with the deep-rooted order of things if it becomes next year the scene of the final confirmation of a new order, based on the free will of nations. In a way, this forthcoming summit will thus constitute the final step in dismantling the Iron Curtain, even though the curtain now exists merely as its own psychological shadow. . .
. . . How many states will the Prague summit actually invite, and which states it will be, is still far from certain. The discussion that is just now beginning will probably continue until the very last moment . . .
. . . An assurance that their turn will come; that there are no hidden political considerations in this respect for the interests of any third party; and, that the Alliance is not afraid of stepping further beyond its previous borders, should be given to all.
If our host country, Slovakia, is not afflicted by some tragic reversal of fortune, which I trust will not happen, I believe that it stands, together with Slovenia, a great chance of being offered membership in Prague. On behalf of the Czech Republic, I can responsibly say that we shall support such a step in every way.
In my opinion -I have already explained why -the three Baltic states should be approached as well. Our Bulgarian and Romanian friends are also in play, just as all the other remaining candidates. . .
. . . Many European countries, including the Czech Republic, now have -for the first time in their history -a real chance that their freedom is truly guaranteed through their voluntary affiliation with a firm alliance and their commitment to joint defence of shared values.
Ladies and gentlemen, let us use this chance!
RFE Marks 50th Anniversary
Czech President Vaclav Havel, members of the Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty supervisory council, and hundreds of current and former RFE/RL employees attended a ceremony at the company’s Prague headquarters to celebrate 50 years of broadcasting operations.
President Havel noted that RFE/RL continues to play a valuable role in the countries to which it broadcasts, stating, "Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty is maintaining a high measure of professional journalism, independence, political commentary displaying an analytical overview, and adherence to facts."
Congratulatory messages were sent by Bulgarian President Petar Stoyanov, Georgian President Eduard Shevardnadze, Estonian President Lennart Meri, U.S. President George W. Bush and Secretary of State Colin Powell.
Foreign Minister Kavan Meets Secretary Powell
Czech Foreign Minister Jan Kavan met with his American counterpart Colin Powell in Budapest on May 29, 2001. Their brief meeting took place on the margin of a two-day gathering of nineteen foreign ministers from NATO member states.
Minister Kavan was due to meet with Secretary of State Colin Powell, National Security Advisor Condoleezza Rice and Deputy Secretary of Defence Paul Wolfovitz during his U.S. visit earlier in May, but had to cancel his meetings due to a health condition. However, the two ministers did have a telephone conversation in which Minister Kavan assured Secreraty Powell of his interest to meet in person.
After visiting Washington, Foreign Minister Kavan flew to New York and continued in the scheduled program. His New York agenda included a meeting with Harri Holkeri (Finland), Chairman of the 55th U.N. General Assembly on Thursday, May 17. The following day, Minister Kavan addressed a U.N. Breakfast Roundtable on "Choices for Eastern Europe: Democracy or Nationalism," organized by the Council on Foreign Relations. On Sunday May 20, the final day of his visit, Minister Kavan received an Honorary Doctorate from Adelphi University in New York.
Albright Receives WNDC Award
Former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright received the Democratic Woman of the Year Award at a dinner sponsored by the Woman's National Democratic Club (WNDC). The event took place in the WNDC's late 19th century clubhouse on New Hampshire Avenue.
WNDC President Anna Stout described former Secretary Albright as a "pioneering spirit, courageous defender of policy, tireless proponent of human rights and women's rights, and proud Democrat."
At the ceremony, Madeleine Albright noted, "It is no secret that I loved being secretary of state, but being a former secretary of state is almost as much fun."
Ms. Albright served the Clinton administration as the 64th secretary of state and was the first woman to hold the position. She came to the United States with her family from Czechoslovakia in 1948.
Veterans Meet at the Czech Embassy
World War II veterans with Czechoslovak roots living in the USA and Canada met on May 22 at the Czech Embassy in Washington, D.C. Another such meeting, arranged and sponsored by Mr. Petr Gandalovic, Consul General of the Czech Republic, took place on May 24 in New York City.
The participants of these meetings gathered to commemorate the 56th Anniversary of the 1945 liberation of Czechoslovakia as well as to learn about the present situation in the Czech Republic and within its Armed Forces. They were also informed about the laws and directives dealing with the rights and claims of those who, during the war years, took active part in fighting fascism.
Present at these two meetings were the former Deputy Minister of Defense, Mr. Prokop Dolejsi and Mr. Juraj Eisel, Director of the Veterans and Resistance-fighters office at the Czech Ministry of Defense. The Washington get-together was also attended by Dr. Antonin Hradilek, Deputy Chief of Mission at the Czech Embassy.
The two representatives of the Czech Ministry of Defense readily answered veterans’ questions concerning their rights based on statutes yet elaborated as well as on veterans entitlements to use housing, health and recreational facilities of the Czech Defense Ministry while visiting the Czech Republic.
All the participants showed keen interest in the life of the Czech Republic and its Armed Forces expressing desire to come again and again preferably at the occasion of future celebrations of country’s liberation.
Each veteran was presented with a list of names and addresses of known veterans and was asked to help expand that list. The Czech Ministry of Defense then pledged to keep in touch with veterans either directly or via the Defense Attaché’s Office in Washington, D.C.
The Washington meeting concluded with a luncheon and the get-together in New York City with a reception. Both meetings were highly praised, and requests for : ”repeat performance” were numerous.
At this point the Defense Attache of the Czech Republic in Washington, D.C. would like to thank General Milos Knorr, Mrs. Dagmar White and Mr. Mirko Janecek for putting together the list of names and addresses thus making it possible to contact the veterans and their relatives. Great thanks are due to Mr. Petr Gandalovic for the splendid organization of the veterans´ meeting in New York City.
To all veterans and their family members who attended the get-together in Washington, and those who came to New York City our most sincere thanks.
Lastly we would like to express our gratitude and our high esteem to all who 56 years ago contributed toward liberation of our homeland making it possible for our generation to live, this far, in peace.
Czech Hockey Rules Again
The Czech Republic's ice hockey team captured its third consecutive World Championship title in Hannover, Germany on May 13, 2001, defeating Finland 3 : 2 for the gold medal. In a thriller match, the Finns entered the third period with a 2 -0 lead, but Prochazka and Patera leveled the score for the Czech team. Finally, Moravec notched the Winning Goal 10 minutes and 38 seconds into overtime with a hat trick that set off celebrations throughout the country. As World Champions for the third year in a row, the Czech Republic now belongs (together with Canada and the former Soviet Union) to an exclusive group of only three countries in the world to have won a hat trick.
Next year, the Czech national team will defend their 1998 Nagano Olympic Gold at the Salt Lake City Winter Olympics Tournament.
SVU Annual Reception
The annual SVU (Czechoslovak Society of Arts and Sciences) reception took place at the Czech Embassy in Washington on May 12. Organized by the Washington, DC Chapter of the SVU, the reception featured as its key speaker Dr. Sanford J. Ungar, Director of the Voice of America. The assembled were greeted by Dr. Alexej Borkovec, President of the Washington SVU Chapter and Dr. Ivan Dubovicky, Cultural Counselor of the Czech Embassy. Dr. Dubovicky thanked the SVU for their contribution to the preservation of Czech heritage and expressed his firm belief in the Embassy's future successful cooperation with the Society.
In his remarks, Dr. Sanford Ungar spoke about the present and future challenges that lie ahead for Voice of America, as well as about its history, broadcasting activities, and efforts to promote democracy throughout the world.
The reception, which was attended by several dozen people, was a successful and enjoyable experience for everyone present.
Czech Honorary Consulates in the USA
There are currently eleven honorary consulates of the Czech Republic on the territory of the United States, including Atlanta, Anchorage, Buffalo, Dallas, Fort Lauderdale, Houston, Minneapolis/St.Paul, New Orleans, Philadelphia, Portland and San Francisco. A consulate in San Juan, Puerto Rico is expected to open this year.
The head of an honorary consulate is not a career diplomat, but rather a US citizen with a certain relationship to the Czech Republic whose professional achievements make him or her a respected member of both the American and Czech communities. Among the current honorary consuls, one may find successful businessmen, university professors, and partners of respected law firms, who, in addition to their careers devote a significant portion of their valuable time to promoting the relationship between the Czech Republic and the United States.
Assistance to Czech citizens in need is a very significant part of an honorary consulate’s assignment. Hundreds of Czech tourists are grateful for the invaluable help received from honorary consuls after having found themselves in such desperate situations as being robbed, losing their passport, getting involved in a car accident, or being detained by a law enforcement agency.
Besides their "working agenda," some honorary consuls organize concerts and performances of Czech artists to promote Czech culture in the US, while others intermediate contact between Czech and US companies or assist in organizing visits for Czech representatives.
Over the last decade, the honorary consuls have proven to be an extraordinary contribution to the growing image of the Czech Republic in the United States. Therefore, further growth in the number of Czech honorary consulates is both needed and encouraged. In the near future, at least 10 to 15 more honorary consulates should be opened in the US, especially in the Midwest and Rocky Mountain regions. The Czech Embassy in Washington welcomes applications for honorary consulate positions, particularly from industry and trade centers and areas with significant Czech communities. In addition to a respected position in his or her local community, the basic requirements for an honorary consulate include financial independence and close ties to the Czech Republic. For more information, please contact Mr. Richard Krpac, Czech consul in Washington at 202-274 9118.
Honorary Consulates of the Czech Republic in USA
Atlanta, GA, George A. NOVAK, tel.: 770-859 9402, e-mail: email@example.com
Anchorage, AL, Francis J. NOSEK, tel.:907-274-2602, e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Buffalo, NY, John B. ZAVREL, tel.: 716-759 6078, E-mail: email@example.com
Dallas, TX, Jerry G. BARTOS, tel. 214-351 2074, e-mail: JGBBI@aol.com
Fort Lauderdale, FL, Alan S. BECKER, tel.:954-985-4127,
Houston, TX, Raymond J. SNOKHOUS, tel: 713-629-6963, e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Minneapolis/St.Paul, MN, Josef MESTENHAUSER, tel.:651-221-0016,
New Orleans, LA, Kenneth H. ZEZULKA, tel.: 504-456-1336, e-mail: KHZezulka@aol.com
Philadelphia, PA, Peter A. RAFAELI, tel.215-646 7777,
e-mail: email@example.com, web : www.czechrepublicpa.com
Portland, OR, Marie Spundova AMICCI, tel: 503-293 9545, e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
San Francisco, CA, Richard PIVNICKA, tel.: 415-394 0152, e-mail: email@example.com
May 8 : Politicians and people throughout the country commemorated the end of World War II and the liberation of former Czechoslovakia from Nazi German occupation. President Vaclav Havel, accompanied by high-level officials and representatives of the Czechoslovak Legionnaire Community and the Czech Union of Freedom Fighters, saluted the fallen on Vitkov Hill in Prague. The city of Plzen (Pilsen) recalled its liberation by the American troops led by General George S. Patton. The General’s grandson, Robert Patton, took part in this year's celebrations. He also promoted the Czech translation of his historic book - a biography of his grandfather.
May 9 : Under the auspices of the Foreign Ministry, a series of events commemorating Europe Day was organized in Prague as a part of the campaign to help enhance the public's interest in the EU and provide the people with essential information about the EU and its future impacts on the Czech Republic. The program’s main body was run on Republic Square, where several leading figures in the accession process, including Foreign Minister Jan Kavan and EU Ambassador to the Czech Republic Ramiro Cibrian, answered questions from passers-by.
May 11 : Over 150 Czech soldiers who served in the SFOR peacekeeping mission in Bosnia from last October to April were awarded by Airforce Commander Ladislav Klima. The Commander presented soldiers from the Prerov helicopter unit and mechanized battalion with medals and commemorative certificates. The soldiers flew over 380 air hours, helped safeguard the return of refugees, and guarded buildings against radical groups.
May 12 : Foreign Minister Jan Kavan and Austrian Environment Minister Wilhelm Molterer signed a joint statement in Prague on issues concerning the implementation of the so-called Melk Protocol of December 2000 regarding the Temelin nuclear power plant. The Czech Republic assured its Austrian neighbors that the power plant would not operate if it did not meet the safety criteria relevant in the EU member states. Prague will provide Vienna with additional information about the plant to address the public’s concerns, including data on the non-nuclear portion of Temelin. Austria expressed support for the Czech Republic’s efforts to become a full-fledged member of the EU.
May 12 : The 56th Prague Spring Festival, the largest classical music event in the Czech Republic, opened today with Bedrich Smetana's cycle of symphonic poems ”Ma vlast” (My country). The opening concert was attended by President Vaclav Havel, under whose auspices the festival is held. In line with tradition, the festival closes every year on June 3 with Beethoven's 9th symphony.
May 14 -15 : A delegation of Czech Senators headed by the Speaker of the Senate, Petr Pithart, paid a visit to Yugoslavia to renew contacts between the Parliaments of both countries. Mr. Pithart voiced the Czech Republic’s strong support for the new democratic leadership in Belgrade. Apart from meetings with his counterparts in the Serbian and Yugoslav Parliaments, he held talks with Yugoslav Prime Minister Zoran Zizic and Foreign Minister Goran Svilanovic that highlighted the complex security and economic situation in the region. The Czech side offered to share its experience in transforming a state-controlled economy. Speaker Pithart visited the Dragisa Misovic hospital in Belgrade, which is being reconstructed, partly with assistance from the Czech Republic.
May 22 : The third international festival of Roma culture, entitled Khamoro 2001 (which translates to Sunshine in Roma) was organized in Prague to celebrate Roma art, music and culture, as well as to focus on the important issues faced by the Roma community throughout the world. The festival also included a seminar addressing the role and rights of the Roma in the EU, which was put together with the assistance of the delegation of the European Commission (EC) in Prague.
May 23 : The Foreign Ministers of six candidate countries - Cyprus, the Czech Republic, Estonia, Hungary, Poland and Slovenia - met in Prague for their fourth strategic session. They reviewed the current stage of accession talks, discussed the enlargement process, and touched on the evolving debate about the future of the EU. The ministers reaffirmed their countries’ determination to be ready to assume the obligations arising from their EU memberships targeted for January 1, 2003. The Ministers also expressed expectations that the European Council held in Goeteborg in June will give a significant impetus to the enlargement process by specifying the time-frame for each stage of the accession.
May 23 : The Chamber of Deputies passed a bill drafted by the government on the protection of rights for ethnic minorities. Under the bill, minorities who have traditionally lived in the Czech Republic have the right to use bilingual names of towns and streets, use their mother tongue when dealing with authorities, and influence affairs related to themselves. The bill has yet to be discussed by the Senate and signed by the President. Deputy Prime Minister Pavel Rychetsky praised the bill for lowering the quotas necessary for forming minority rights watchdog committees in municipal and regional assemblies.
May 24 : In Prague, a delegation of the Council of Europe (CE) Parliamentary Assembly and a group of Russian Lower House Deputies headed by Foreign Relations Committee Chairman Dmitrii Rogozin discussed the war conflict in Chechnya. The meeting aimed to begin talks about possible approaches to a political settlement. All participants praised the meeting as a useful beginning to the political process. However, Lord Judd, a member of the European delegation, stressed that the solution must be found in Russia --between the Russian government, the Parliament, and the Chechens.
May 25 : The Chamber of Deputies elected all fifteen members of the Council of Czech Television (CT). The previous Council was dismissed at the beginning of this year amid a crisis in CT, prompted by the election of a new CT Head, Jiri Hodac, whom most of the CT staff viewed as politically biased and refused to recognize. The new Council includes National Gallery Director Milan Knizak, drug-addiction expert Jiri Presl, philosopher Erazim Kohak and former Olympic athlete Helena Fibingerova. The members of the Council were elected for six years. Under the law on CT, the Chamber of Deputies will change one-third of the CT Council every two years.
May 26 : Cyril Svoboda was elected as new Christian Democrat (KDU-CSL) Chairman at a party conference. In an election which required a minimum of 159 votes, Mr. Svoboda was supported by 162 delegates in the second round. The delegates also elected new Deputy Chairpersons, including Senator Zuzana Roithova, former Chairman Jan Kasal, and Deputies Miloslav Vyborny and Tomas Kvapil.
May 28 - 29 :The tenth anniversary of the events of 1991 that culminated in the demise of the Soviet Union were recalled at a conference organized by the Prague Society for International Cooperation under the auspices of Czech Foreign Minister Jan Kavan. The conference united the Foreign Ministers of that time, as well as key players from business, education and journalism.
May 28 - 29 : In Prague, talks between Czech Prime Minister Milos Zeman and his Slovak counterpart Mikulas Dzurinda focused on a further enhancement of bilateral cooperation in military, economic and cultural fields. The discussions highlighted the planned establishment of a joint Czech-Slovak unit in the KFOR peacekeeping operation, both countries’ accession talks with the EU, and cooperation within the Visegrad group (the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Poland and Hungary). At the meeting with the Slovak Prime Minister, President Vaclav Havel strongly supported further NATO enlargement. The Prime Ministers also agreed to support mutual broadcasting of television programs. Prior to the talks in Prague, a new Czech-Slovak border crossing was opened at Breclav/Brodske. The crossing is likely to become one of the busiest on the common border.
Governor Ridge leads Trade Mission to Prague
A Pennsylvania Trade Mission led by Governor Tom Ridge arrived in Prague on May 11, 2001. The Governor was greeted at the Prague airport by Petr Gandalovic, Consul General of the Czech Republic in New York and Peter A. Rafaeli, the Honorary Consul General of the Czech Republic in Philadelphia. This Mission was the Ridge administration’s 18th Trade Mission. Since he took office, the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania has increased its number of trade representative offices from 3 to 17. One such office is located in Prague and serves the Czech and Slovak republics, Poland and Hungary. It is the only office in Prague representing a U.S. state.
Thirty-six Pennsylvanian businesses participated in the Trade Mission and were given the opportunity to meet with a number of potential Czech business partners. The Mission concentrated primarily on energy, information technology, and environmental clean-up, etc. One-on-one meetings were arranged for participating businesses by the Office of International Business Development in Pennsylvania’s Department of Community and Economic Development and with the help of their Prague Representatives and the U.S. Commercial Service within the U.S. Embassy in Prague.
Governor Ridge is a firm believer in building long-lasting two-way relationships. Although the Governor’s primary goal for the Mission was to promote Pennsylvania’s economic interests, he also believes that establishing and building cultural, educational and political ties with other democratic countries is of utmost importance to the people of Pennsylvania. The Governor's philosophy was reflected in the make-up of the Commonwealth’s delegation: he was accompanied by Samuel McCullough, Secretary of Community and Economic Development, Donald S. Welsh, Deputy Secretary in the Department of Environmental Protection, John Quain, Chairman of the PA Public Utility Commission, Susan Kemenyffy, Chairperson of the PA Arts Council, Tammy Lindenberg, the Governor’s Advisor for International Trade, and others. The participating business-people were led and supported by Ms. Robin Fisher, Director for Europe, Asia and Africa in the Office of International Business Development at DCED, as well as Messrs. Zednicek and Kaspar from the Commonwealth’s Prague Trade Office. A bipartisan group consisting of State Senators Robbins and Kasunic, as well as the former Majority Leader of the PA House, H. William DeWeese, represented the legislature.
The Governor’s varied interests were indicated by a variety of activities, including a meeting with Ing. Cestimir Vlcek, Mayor of the city of Ostrava --the Czech Republic’s steel-town, a visit to a school for gifted youth hockey players (where the governor presented gifts to the children from the Pittsburgh Penguins), and his attendance at the inaugural concert of the Prague Spring Music Festival under the patronage and attendance of President Havel and the Lord-Mayor of Prague. The Governor and his companions had an opportunity to discuss business matters with representatives of the Czech business community and representatives of the American Chamber of Commerce in Prague at a luncheon hosted by Steven Coffey, Charge d´Affaires of the U.S. Embassy in Prague. Mr. Igor Zaruba, a correspondent of the highly respected Czech weekly "Ekonom," also interviewed the Governor. During a working luncheon hosted by Mr. Vlastimil Tlusty, Chairman of the Czech Parliament’s Budget Committee, views were exchanged in the field of Information Technology. The Chairman visited Harrisburg several weeks previous and future exchanges are envisioned. Finally, Vaclav Klaus, Chairman of the Czech Parliament and former Prime Minister, received the Governor. After a brief discussion, the Governor was invited to enter the gallery while Parliament was in session. Mr. Klaus informed the assembled Members of the Governor´s presence in the gallery, to which the members responded with a rousing welcome.
Peter A. Rafaeli, Honorary Consul General of the Czech Republic in Philadelphia
"Investor of the Year 2000" Awards Go to US companies
The US companies Tyco Electronics, Parker Hannifin Industrial, and Pittsburgh Corning are among those in the Czech Republic who have received the award for "Investor of the Year 2000" by CzechInvest and the Association for Foreign Investment. The event was co-sponsored by the Czech Ministry of Industry and Trade.
Tyco Electronics expanded their facility to produce automotive cables and connectors with additional investments amounting to USD 34 million in Kurim, creating one thousand and two hundred new jobs. With its investment of USD 10.5 million, Parker Hannifin Industrial created three hundred jobs in Chomutov, an area of high unemployment. Its facility will produce components for automotive air-conditioning systems. Pittsburgh Corning invested USD 19.9 million in its foam glass production center in Klasterec nad Ohri, also an area of high unemployment.
"The decisive factors were highly qualified labor at low cost, vicinity of markets in Western Europe, and excellent cooperation with government and local authorities . . . We took advantage of the favorable conditions offered by the city of Chomutov and the investment incentives for requalification of employees," said representatives of Parker Hannifin Co.
"The main reasons for our further expansion were the growing demand in the European market and the satisfying results of our production. The potential of the high-level technical high schools and universities was the main reason for locating in the Brno region," added representatives of Tyco Electronics.
The Czech Republic: Your High Speed Connection to Central and Eastern Europe
On May 21 - 24, the Czech Embassy hosted a visit of IT and telecommunications officials from the Czech Republic. The group included Ms. Marcela Gurlichova, Deputy Minister for Telecommunications, Mr. Miloslav Marcan, Association of Information Technology/Ministry of Industry and Trade, Ms. Hana Lasslerova, Director of CzechInvest - U.S. Operations East, Mr. Roderick Barker, General Manager of the Czech Technology Park Brno, and Mr. Aart Strang, Managing Director of Lucent Technologies Czech Republic.
A business briefing entitled "The Czech Republic : Your High Speed Connection to Central and Eastern Europe" and hosted by the Central and Eastern Europe Business Information Center (CEEBIC) at the U.S. Department of Commerce on May 22 was the main event of the visit. The briefing highlighted business opportunities in the Czech Republic as a result of the EU accession process, focusing on the privatization of Czech Telecom and incentives in the high-tech and telecom industries. The presentations can be viewed at CEEBIC's homepage at: http://www.mac.doc.gov/eebic/ceebic.html.
Over 100 company representatives participated in a similar event sponsored by private company Equity International at the Czech Embassy on May 23, representing technology, finance, law, and services, including executives from Accenture, The Adrenaline Group, Amerivault, AntheSys, AT&T, Booz-Allen & Hamilton, Cingular, Digital Signature Trust, Global Internet Summit, MCI WorldCom, Nextel, Piper Rudnick, PricewaterhouseCoopers, QUALCOMM, Raymond James, Siemens, Sprint, Trade Finance Associates, Transgroup Worldwide Logistics, ToadNet, and VeriSign. Presentations included a success story presentation by Mr. Martin Herman, President of Unicorn Information Systems, a subsidiary of Czech software company in Washington, DC, Mr. William Loiry, President of Equity International, Mr. Dan Crisafulli, Investment Officer at IFC/World Bank, Mr. Jeff Cochrane and Tom Filmore from USAID. The briefing was followed by a networking reception.
Foreign Trade Development
Foreign trade deficit widened more than expected, but data showed exports remained strong despite the slowdown in its key trade partner, the euro zone. The Czech Statistical Bureau (CSU) said the trade gap for April reached CZK 12.1 billion, slightly below a revised 12.9 billion deficit in March, but above the forecast of 9.9 billion. Imports jumped 28.9 percent compared to a year ago, fuelled by companies' demand for investment-related goods. Exports jumped 22.4 percent, acceleration from 18.9 percent in the previous month.
The data showed that Czech companies have maintained their export momentum despite a series of bearish data from the main trading partners. Export growth to Germany, the largest trade partner taking some 40 percent of Czech exports, dropped to 11.4 percent from 17.1 in March, while export growth to the EU as a whole picked up to 22.3 percent from 17.2 in March.
The CSU said the bulk of the increase in imports was in the sectors of machinery and resources, semi-finished products and chemicals, while machinery and vehicles drove exports. The data confirmed the economy was not absorbing too many consumer goods. Analysts see the rising gap as a result of strong investment activity, which will translate into higher exports later.
Business Expo 2001 in Philadelphia
The Hudson Valley International Trade Expo
Representatives from the Czech Center New York's Business Section presented over 30 Czech companies at the Business Expo 2001 on May 3 in Philadelphia, PA. The Czech Center also informed participants about business opportunities in the Czech Republic and developed valuable contacts.
Exhibitors from over 400 companies participated in the Business Expo, the largest one-day business-to-business trade show in the region.
Several days later on May 8, the Czech Center New York participated at the Hudson Valley International Trade Show, organized by the Westchester County Association. A broad audience of international business professionals learned about various Czech companies and the services provided by the Czech Center New York, including, for example, The Business Assistance Program -- a project dedicated to helping small and medium sized companies by matching business partners or planning business trips to the Czech Republic.
May 2 : The 9.5 percent unemployment rate dropped in April to 9 percent, a decline of roughly 22,000 persons to 471,000 people receiving unemployment support. Decrease was registered in the northern regions of Bohemia and Moravia, where unemployment rates are traditionally high. Experts cited the widening choice of jobs offered by foreign investors and by small and medium business. Seasonal employment also contributed to the positive trend. Czech industrial output in March was 5.2 percent higher than 12 months ago and the construction industry registered an increase of 6.5 percent.
May 3 : The Czech Finance Ministry prepared two possible scenarios for next year's state budget. One counts on a deficit of CZK 10 billion, and the other on a CZK 20 billion deficit (just under $0.5 billion). Both scenarios count on a significantly lower deficit than for this year's budget, although the latter version goes against an agreement with the opposition, under which the government said that the deficit would not exceed ten billion CZK.
May 4 : The state-owned gas utility operator Transgas was carved up on Wednesday, part of the government's planned privatization of the gas industry. Transgas was divided into a joint stock company, to be put up for sale, and a majority state-owned enterprise. The government's privatization agency - the National Property Fund has selected Solomon Brothers International and Citibank as advisers for the sale, but the decision has gone to the anti-monopoly office at the request of one of the bidders.
May 9 : The Czech Republic will have to spend an estimated CZK 250 billion, or nearly $7 billion, on environmental protection over the next ten years in connection with the country's accession to the EU. Czech Environment Minister Milos Kuzvart said that nearly one third of the sum would be invested in municipal wastewater treatment facilities. He said private companies would have to invest substantial amounts of money as well, in order to implement waste reduction programs.
May 10 : Czech economic analysts expect petrol price to reach a psychological barrier of CZK 30 (about $2,9 per gallon) this summer, if the US dollar continues strengthening against European currencies. Another important factor that could push petrol prices up is an OPEC meeting scheduled for this summer.
May 11 : The Brno exhibition ground hosted the 6th International Exhibition of Defense and Security Technology and Special Information Systems IDET. The tradeshow is the largest and most prestigious exhibition of its kind in Europe in 2001, with nearly 400 participating companies, 24 countries and 11,000 expert visitors.
May 14 : The Czech Republic and the EU have not yet reached agreement on the key issue of freedom of labor movement. At the EU conference in Nykoping, Sweden, Czech Foreign Minister Jan Kavan spoke out against a transition period, whereby workers from EU candidate countries would not be able to seek employment in current member states. Germany and Austria have proposed a seven-year transition period, fearing a massive influx of cheap labor from countries seeking accession to the EU, including the Czech Republic, Poland, Hungary and Slovenia. The European Commission supports the proposed policy. The Czech government has repeatedly stressed that fears of a mass exodus by Czech workers to the West are unfounded.
May 17 : The Czech government has issued a directive on unit prices of shoes and some textile goods in an effort to curb illegal imports of such products to the Czech Republic from Asia and fight the custom duty fraud. Czech producers complain that Asian importers reportedly declare prices that are much lower than the real value and thus evade paying customs duty. The new directive gives customs officers a tool to fight this fraud and protect local producers.
May 18 : The Czech Republic has relaxed a ban on the import and transit of animals at risk from foot-and-mouth disease (FMD), restricting the ban only to those countries which have recorded cases of the disease - Britain, the Netherlands, France and Ireland. The measures come into effect on Saturday. There is still a ban on all meat and dairy products being brought into the country at airports.
May 21 : The minister of finance, Jiri Rusnok, has instigated a major change in the state-owned bail-out bank, Konsolidacni banka (KoB). He dismissed General Director Mr. Ladislav Reznicek and replaced him with current Director of Internal Audit Department Mr. Pavel Rezabek. The Ministry did not reveal any reasons, but Minister Rusnok indicated that KoB deals with matters that markedly affect the state budget. In the last few years, KoB has taken on tens of billion of CZK worth of debts from state-owned banks, including KB and Ceska Sporitelna. An additional CZK 180 billion (USD 4.6 billion) of debt can be attributed to the bankrupt IPB.
May 22 : The Czech government decided to hire an adviser within the next two weeks for the planned auction of four third-generation UMTS mobile phone network licenses later this year. Telecommunications Minister Jaromir Schling said that ministers agreed with the proposal of the Czech Telecommunications Office (CTU), which was reluctant to run the auction on its own due to a lack of experience. The adviser should be chosen within the next two months. Recently-appointed Finance Minister Jiri Rusnok has indicated the government may have to scale back its revenue expectations of at least CZK 20 billion ($510.2 million) for all four licenses to around CZK 15 billion. The Czech Republic has the highest mobile phone penetration in the region (almost 50 percent) and is expected to exceed 60 percent by year end.
May 23 : The largest Czech brewer Plzensky Prazdroj, a unit of South African Breweries, said on Tuesday its net profit dropped to 169.4 million CZK last year from 494 million in 1999. The company said in a statement that total revenues reached CZK 9.58 billion in 2000. Prazdroj, maker of the Pilsner Urquell lager, controls two other Czech breweries, Radegast and Velke Popovice.
May 24 : The Czech government must approve a restructuring plan for the Czech steel industry by July 31 if it wants to complete the chapter on economic competition in EU accession negotiations. According to Chief Negotiator Mr. Pavel Telicka, the plan should include some of the largest steel mills into one company.
May 25 : Czech fixed-line telecommunication operators say they feel that mobile phone operators are discriminating against them. The Association of Public Telecommunication Network Operators has filed a complaint with the Czech Telecommunications Office and demands that interconnection fees between cellular and fixed-line networks be cut by 80 percent. According to the association, the interconnection costs between fixed-line and mobile networks are around half that of between cellular networks. However, mobile operators in some cases charge two or three times higher tariffs for calling fixed-line phones than for calls within mobile networks.
May 27 : Czech car and fuel sales helped the retail sales index to grow by 3.1 percent in March, compared with a 1.0 percent drop the previous month, according to the Czech Statistical Bureau (CSU). Car sales were up 8.5 percent, while fuel sales rose 4.8 percent. CSU added that retail sales grew by 3.5 percent in the last three months. Communications sales jumped 16.8 percent in March, also up from a 10.9 percent growth in February.
May 28 : Czech national carrier Czech Airlines (CSA) reported its first-quarter loss widened, but added that passenger traffic rose and it is sticking to its full-year profit forecast. CSA, a new member of the Sky Team alliance led by Delta and Air France, said its first quarter loss widened to CZK 526 million ($13.17 million) from 300 million for the same period of 2000. Passenger volume rose 22 percent to 514,809 from 422,032, and seat load factor rose to 67.2 percent from 64.5 percent. Plane utilization rose to 6.82 hours per day from 6.6 hours.
Profile : Father Vojtech Vit
Father Vojtech Vit (1923 -2001), one of the most outstanding personalities of the Czech American community in the post-WW II era, passed away on May 19, 2001.
Father Vit was born on February 2, 1923 in Police nad Metuji, Czech Republic. He left former Czechoslovakia in 1946 as a member of the St. Adalbert Benedictine Abbey in Prague to study philosophy and theology at the St. Andrew Seminary in Brugges and the Catholic University in Leuwen, Belgium. For the next six years, he served as a missionary and professor at the Evening Commercial Academy in the former Belgian Congo. Later, in 1961, Father Vit moved to Chicago, IL, where he began working for the National Alliance of Czech Catholics. He established the Catholic Czech bi-weekly Hlas národa (Voice of the Nation) and worked as a publisher, editor-in-chief, and writer for the newspaper which still belongs among the three most widely-read Czech American periodicals in the country. In 1983, Father Vit began performing regular Czech sermons, as well as baptisms, wedding ceremonies and funeral services at Our Lady of the Mount Parish Church in Cicero, IL. He received no salary except for his parishioners' donations. In addition to his clerical efforts, Father Vit organized Czech language courses in cooperation with the Velehrad society. With his open heart and astounding generosity, Father Vit effectively tightened the bonds of the Czech American Community in the Chicago area. There is little wonder that his work was highly appreciated not only by members of the Catholic faith, but by all of those in the Czech community to whom he was "Our Father Vojtech."
Father Vit’s activities among Czech Americans far exceeded his regular Catholic missionary duties, a fact which was recognized by President Havel in 1999 when he bestowed upon Father Vit one of the highest Czech State awards, the Medal of Honor of the Ist Order. Father Vit received the award for his life-long publishing, missionary, and humanitarian work, as well as for his contribution to the preservation of Czech culture abroad -- a symbolic gesture of President Havel's appreciation toward the exile movement in the United States. In addition, Father Vit maintained deep contact with Czech Catholics in his homeland and devoted endless amounts of energy to defend the Czech Catholic Church and priests imprisoned by the Communist regime. Even after the democratic changes of 1989, Father Vit supported many humanitarian and charity activities: in 1997 he organized a financial collection of 10,000 dollars to help victims of the floods in Moravia, Czech Republic and while in America, always lent a helping hand to newly arrived immigrants.
In 2000, Father Vit retired to his beloved Benedictine Brevnov Monastery in Prague, but soon returned to the United States to help establish the Czech Catholic Mission in Chicago. In the last days of his fruitful life, Father Vit found himself back in America once again, among the people to whom he had dedicated his life.
Uz Jsme Doma Back in the USA
The incomparable avant-garde Czech rock band Uz Jsme Doma embarks on another whirlwind tour of North America starting June 12 and running through July 15 (tour dates below). Since forming in the Czech border town of Teplice in 1985, Uz Jsme Doma has weathered the tyranny of Communism, numerous line-up changes, and relentless touring, including performances in war-torn Bosnia. The band's music, through a juxtaposition of the beautiful and ugly, familiar and strange, aims to provoke the listener to feel something genuine and new; in the famous words of one of the band's inspirations, Franz Kafka, to be "an axe for the frozen sea inside us." Celebrating the absurd, the sad, the beautiful and the unbearable, often all in one song, Uz Jsme Doma taps into life's underground reserves and lets it shoot skywards. UJD's explosive, engaging concerts feature frenetic tempos and time changes, soaring operatic vocals and gutteral chanting, rock anthems and folk dances, seeming anarchy that is orchestrated down to the last skronk. UJD's most recent release, Ears, finally distills the band's energy in the studio, producing a concoction as potent as a bottle of homemade slivovitz. The songs on Ears focus on what goes on (and doesn't go on) between those two underused organs. Songwriters Jindra Dolansky and Mirek Wanek have produced their most energetic and involved compositions yet for this album, while Mirek's lyrics, sung in Czech, delve deeper into the fears, deceptions, misunderstandings , and general blind fumbling that cause folk to fall into and out of relationships. Guitarist Radek Podvesky, bassist Jan Cejka, and drummer Petr Bohm contribute powerhouse backing to the album on their first studio recordings as band members. After this tour, UJD begins work on material for their next album, scheduled for release in 2002.
North American Tour Dates, Summer 2001
6-12 Washington, DC Black Cat, 1831 14th St., N.W. 202-667-4490
6-13 New York, NY Knitting Factory, 74 Leonard St. 212-219-3055
6-14 Boston, MA Middle East, 472 Mass. Ave., 617-354-8238
6-15 Hamilton, ON The Raven, 69 Augusta St. 905-524-3777
6-16 Toronto, ON El Mocambo, 464 Spadina Ave. 416-968-2001
6-17 Detroit, MI TBA
6-18 Cleveland, OH Beachland Ballroom, 15711 Waterloo Rd. 216-383-1124
6-19 Newport, KY Southgate House, 24 E. 3rd St. 859-431-2201
6-20 Chicago, IL Schuba's, 3159 N. Southport Ave. 773-525-2608
6-21 Madison, WI The Rathskeller, 800 Langdon St. 608-262-2215
6-22 Minneapolis, MN 7th St. Entry, 701 First Ave. N. 612-338-8388
6-23 Winnipeg, MB Royal Albert, 48 Albert St. 204-943-8750
6-24 Saskatoon, SK Wash 'N' Slosh, 834 Broadway 306-664-9274
6-25 Edmonton, AB New City Likwid Lounge, 10161 112 St. 780-413-4578
6-26 Calgary, AB Emerald Cafe
6-27 Vancouver, BC Starfish Room, 1055 Homer St. 604-682-4171
6-28 Seattle, WA Crocodile Cafe, 2200 2nd Ave. 206-448-2114
6-29 Portland, OR Crystal Ballroom, 1332 W. Burnside 503-225-0047
6-30 San Francisco, CA Bottom Of The Hill, 1233 17th St. 415-626-4455
7-1 Los Angeles, CA Knitting Factory, 7021 Hollywood Blvd. 323-463-0204
7-2 San Diego, CA Casbah, 2501 Kettner Blvd. 619-232-4355
7-3 Tucson, AZ Solar Cultural Gallery, 31 E. Toole Ave. 520-884-0874
7-5 Norman, OK Green Door, 8911 N. Western 405-607-0351
7-6 Austin, TX Emo's, 603 Red River 512-477-3667
7-7 Houston, TX Rudyard's, 2010 Waugh Dr. 713-521-0521
7-8 Denton, TX Rubber Gloves, 411 E. Sycamore 940-387-7781
7-9 Kansas City, MO Hurricane, 4048 Broadway 916-753-0884
7-10 Columbia, MO Mojo's, 1013 Park Ave.
7-11 Chattanooga, TN TBA
7-12 Atlanta, GA The Earl, 448 Flat Shoals Rd. 404-223-3275
7-13 Charlottesville, VA Tokyo Rose, 2171 Ivy Rd. 804-295-7673
7-14 Philadelphia, PA Garlic House, 927 S. St. Bernard St. 215-727-9769
For more information, please contact Patrick O'Donnell, Ph/fax: 202-667-0486,
Events at the Embassy
May 15 -September 20
In a fascinating display by one of the most notorious and respected artists of the Czech Republic, Skiers, a selection of sensitively and humorously created images of mature characters on skis in a variety of circumstances, is not an exhibit for ski aficionados only. Artist Martin Velisek, a graduate of the Academy of Applied Arts in Prague, primarily concerns himself with glassmaking, painting, drawing, illustrations, graphics and photography. His work has been exhibited in galleries in Prague, Liberec, Vienna, Paris, and Melbourne, among others. Martin Velisek is a member and court artist of the music group Uz jsme doma. His work Skiers will be on display through September 20, weekdays from 9-5 and evenings during events.
Events around the U.S.
The Czech Voice of Cleveland, a Sunday Morning Czech Show hosted by Joe Kocab
WRMR 850 AM Radio
11:00 a.m. to Noon
WERE 1300 AM
1:00 p.m. to 2:00 p.m.
Karlin Wednesday Dances
Czech Food served from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m., dancing from 7:30 to 10:30 p.m. Karlin Hall and Club, 5304 Fleet Avenue, Cleveland, OH
June 20 Hronek Czech Band
June 27 Homesteaders
July 4 Maple Heights Brass Band
July 11 Bob Sabatka
July 18 Northern Ohio
July 25 Ben Landfeld
August 1 Frankie Spetich
For reservations, please call 216.429.2450
For more information, please call 216.883.4760
May 8 -June 16
The Stage Left Theatre presents the Vera Blackwell translation of Vaclav Havel’s 1965 play, The Memorandum, directed by Kevin Hackman.
Stage Left Theatre, 3408 N. Sheffield, Chicago, IL 60657
7:30 p.m. Thursdays, 8 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays, 3:00 p.m. Sundays
For tickets, please call 773.883.8830, email SLTChicago@aol.com, or visit www.ticketweb.com
Ceska sin Karlin presents Karlin’s Poor Man’s Party with music by Frank Moravcik.
Karlin Hall and Club, 5304 Fleet Avenue, Cleveland, OH
For more information, please call 216.883.4760
June 21 -24
Nebraska Czech Festivals announces the Clarkson Czech Festival, including a rodeo, talent contest, parade, entertainment, ethnic food and the Nebraska Czech-Slovak Queen Pageant.
7 p.m. Friday -Sunday evening.
For more information, please call 402.435.6914, or visit www.nebraskaczechs.org
Ceska sin Karlin presents ABicycle Club Reverse Party@ with music by Zagar-Benda.
Karlin Hall and Club, 5304 Fleet Avenue, Cleveland, OH
For more information, please call 440.845.4217
June 27 -July 1
Sokol Detroit hosts the XX American Sokol Slet 2001 with a rich cultural program and fun for everyone. In the Detroit Metropolitan Area (Dearborn/Dearborn Heights).
For more information, please call 630.362.0771
Ceska sin Karlin presents Cesky Den (Czech Day) at D.T. J. Farm with Czech food and music.
11 a.m. to 7:00 p.m.
For more information, please call 440.543.8494
July 20 -22
The Nebraska Czech Festivals announces the Dwight Czech Festival, including the Little Czech Dancers and Car Show, concerts, parades and more.
At the Legion and Church Halls, Dwight, Nebraska.
For more information, please call 402.435.6914, or visit www.nebraskaczechs.org
July 23 -August 6
Sokol South Omaha announces the American Sokol National Instructor’s School.
For more information, please contact: Sokol South Omaha, 2021 AU@ Street, Omaha, NE 68107
Ceska Sin Karlin presents the 77th Vojan Day at D.T.J. Farm with chicken or duck dinners and the Hanslik-Kurka combo.
For more information, please call 440.888.0483
The Nebraska Czech Festivals announces the Wilber Czech Festival, located in the Czech Capital of Nebraska and the USA. Come and celebrate with an Accordion Jamboree, a Children’s parade, Czech dinners, museum tours, crafts, and the Miss Czech-Slovak USA Queen and National Historic Pageants.
5 p.m. Friday -Sunday evening
For more information, please call 1.888.494.5237 (1.888.4wilber), or visit www.nebraskaczechs.org
Czech Center New York
Exhibition : Dreams and Disillusion: Karel Teige and the Czech Avant-Garde
at Grey Art Gallery, New York University 100 Washington Square East, NYU
This exhibition provides a long-overdue exploration of the career of the most important Czech proponent of modernism, Karel Teige, founding member of avant-garde group Devetsil, a leading association of young Prague artists and intellectuals between the wars.
Exhibition on view: May 1 - July 7, 2001
Tue, Thu, Fri 11am-6pm, Wed 11am-8pm, Sat 11am-5pm)
Film : Alchemist of the Surreal - Jan Svankmajer Retrospective
July 6 - 12, 2001 Film Forum, 209 W. Houston St., NYC, tel. 212-727 8110, www.filmforum.com
Exhibition : Selected Affinities - paintings by Katerina Stenclova and objects and drawings by Michal Skoda. Two abstract artists working in the traditions of Czech abstract art but also influenced by the 1960s American abstract artists like Frank Stella and Kenneth Noland, and by the minimalist movement.
Exhibition at the Czech Center New York, opening June 28 at 6:30 - 8:30 p.m. - on view through September 7, 2001.
Czech Center in July
July 19 - The Ride, video at Czech Center
Czech Center in August
August 2 - The Gentle Barbarian, video at Czech Center
August 16 - The Joke, video at Czech Center
August 21 - Lecture on the "Prague Spring" by Alan Levy
August 30 - Whisper, video at Czech Center