Czech the News

March 2001


Message from the Ambassador

Americans and Czechs to Commemorate T.G. Masaryk

InWest Forum Attracts Businessmen

Lord Robertson of NATO Visits Prague

Agreement on National Building Signed

Czech Tests Find No Threat of Uranium

Ronald Reagan Turns 90

Ambassador Vondra in Iowa

Honorary Consuls Meet in Washington, D.C.

News Digest

Czech Economic Growth is Steady

Czech Airlines to Lease Two Aircraft in March

Business Digest

Czech film Divided We Fall Nominated for An Oscar

The Chicago Opera Theater presents The Good Soldier Svejk

Profile : Peter C. Schultz, Ph.D.

Celebration of American release of The Sorrows of Prince Sternenhoch

The Czechoslovak-American Marionette Theatre Performs at La MaMa

Embassy Events

Events around the USA

Czech Center New York


Message from the Ambassador

I was pleasantly surprised by the large number of American businessmen in attendance at the InWest Forum in New York City, organized by the Slovaks in cooperation with the Czech Republic, Poland and Hungary. Their participation in the forum confirmed their interest in doing business with Central Europe. A segment of the discussions was devoted to the U.S. economy's outlook, in which experts say there is currently a soft landing, though some are afraid of a short-term recession.

The unprecedented boom of the U.S. economy in the nineties, with its emphasis on new technologies, e-commerce, research and development, was an example for all of us. The continuing growth, low unemployment, and exchange rate between the US dollar and the Euro also contributed to the booming amount of Czech exports to the U.S. So what effects could the slowing U.S. economy have on the Czech economy?

Without speaking of negative impacts, there can be a positive effect to beefing up the volume of American investment in Central Europe. For example, after the Asian crisis, Japanese investments in Central Europe multiplied over the two last years. Why should only Japanese, and not American investors as well, take advantage of the incentives offered by the Czech government --incentives which feature, among other benefits, attractive tax holidays? For some reason, in the past, U.S. businesses looked at the region cautiously. First, there was a boom in America itself. Second, the Czech Republic was regarded as an emerging market with potential problems of corruption, etc. And third, the Central European market, with its 100 million consumers, may have seemed less attractive due to their lower purchasing parity. But the situation has changed. We have managed to put our economy back on the right track and the market of Central Europe will soon join the single European market of 500 million consumers.

I think that now is the time for U.S. investors to seriously consider engaging in Central Europe. It would be a mistake to pass up this opportunity.


Americans and Czechs to Commemorate T.G. Masaryk

In an effort to commemorate a true friend to both the United States and democracy, the American Friends of the Czech Republic, in cooperation with the Embassy of the Czech Republic and in full support of the Czech Foreign Ministry, have undertaken an initiative to erect a sculpted memorial of Tomas Garrigue Masaryk. By erecting such a sculpture, all parties would pay homage to the father and first President of the democratic Czechoslovakia, as well as life-long friend to the United States. It was in the United States that Masaryk conceived of the principles upon which the newly independent Czechoslovakia was to be built. His ideas were received with the full support of then current President Woodrow Wilson, as well as other U.S. political representatives.

Masaryk had a lifelong intellectual relationship with America. His most personal link was through his wife, Charlotte Garrigue, whose surname he later adopted as his own middle name. They met in Leipzig in 1877, and later came to New York to marry in March 1878. Meanwhile, his practical contacts with the American people spread over forty years and included four extended visits to the United States during his lifetime. The crowning achievement of this long relationship was the American recognition of Czechoslovak independence on September 3, 1918, formally granted to Masaryk while he was in Washington.

A true disciple of Jefferson and Lincoln, Masaryk is remembered in history as one of the greatest personifications of the friendship between the United States and Czechoslovakia. Tomas G. Masaryk spent much time in the U.S., where he developed a personal relationship with President Woodrow Wilson. Basing his principles for Czech Independence on the United States´ Declaration of Independence, it was in America that he not only drafted this document, but also where he was declared President of Czechoslovakia. In 1918, during a six-and-a-half month stay in America, Masaryk rose from near-obscurity to become the leader of one of the newly formed states in Central Europe.

While in Washington, Masaryk once stayed at the Hotel Powhatten on Pennsylvania Avenue, where he met with officials of the Wilson Administration. The proposed sculpture of Masaryk would be located near this site at a prominent location in downtown Washington, a city viewed by much of the world as the ultimate symbol of true democracy at work. Though the project is still in its initial phase, the organizers are planning to place it on the "fast track" and, with the support of the U.S. Congress and Administration, are hoping for final placement in the fall of 2002.

The Czech Embassy would like to extend its gratitude to the American Friends of the Czech Republic for initiating the project and for their efforts during the preliminary steps. The American Friends of the Czech Republic is a non-profit organization dedicated to the promotion of Czech culture and heritage. They serve as an important voice for the American and Czech community in advancing a common interest in promoting the rule of law, civil society and free market economies.

The AFoCR Board of Directors´ meeting will be held on March 27 and will feature a broad variety of topics for discussion with the Bush Administration officials regarding vital issues, such as national security or U.S. diplomatic initiatives in Central Europe. Likewise, current economic issues regarding the Czech Republic and the European Union will be discussed. The construction of the Masaryk Memorial will also be on the meeting's agenda. As earlier agreed, the entire project is a common initiative of the AFoCR and the Czech Embassy in Washington, D.C. Therefore, the Embassy has already begun their fund-raising efforts for the sculpture in the Czech Republic and the AFoCR will cooperate with Czech-American organizations in the United States to raise the funds necessary to complete the project.

InWest Forum Attracts Businessmen

On February 26, 2001, more than 300 representatives from US businesses attended the InWest Forum Central Europe conference held at the World Trade Center in the financial district of New York City. The event highlighted Central Europe, particularly the countries of the Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland and Slovakia, as a region which forms a strategic hub for foreign direct investment. The packed auditorium halls signalled the growing interest that US businesses seem to have in Central Europe.

Deputy Prime Ministers for Economic Affairs of the Czech Republic, the Slovak Republic, Hungary and Poland, US Ambassadors to these countries, Ambassadors of the four countries to the United States, as well as representatives of US enterprises active in the region such as General Electric, US Steel, Coca Cola and others shared their experiences and views on the prospect for foreign business in the four countries with the directors of foreign investment agencies.

Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance of the Czech Republic Pavel Mertlík stressed the importance of a sound and stable economy, a transparent legal environment for business, and the Czech government's newly implemented investment incentives package as the main attributes of the recent influx of FDI.

The cost effectiveness of the FDI projects, as well as the comparative advantages of the operations of foreign companies and the Czech Republic's prospect of EU membership position the country at the top of the world's list of recipients of foreign direct investment, estimated to reach more than 4 bil. USD in 2001.

"I believe that the interim period before the CR and other countries of Central Europe join the EU is a period of paramount importance for foreign investors. I urge the US companies not to miss this unique period of time and to include Central Europe into their global strategies . . . " said Mr. Alexandr Vondra, Ambassador of the Czech Republic to the USA in his closing remarks at the conference.

Lord Robertson of NATO Visits Prague

NATO Secretary General George Robertson visited the Czech Republic on February 21 and 22, 2001. His discussions with Czech President Vaclav Havel centered around the further enlargement of NATO and the impending "Prague summit, " a summit of NATO member states in the fall of 2002. The two politicians also discussed the transformation of the Czech Army and the fulfillment of tasks which had been set for the Czech Republic upon their entrance into NATO. Lord Robertson mentioned that the Czech Republic has been a member of NATO for almost two years, yet the Czech Army is only now undergoing the process of modernization and many obstacles still remain to comply with NATO standards. He also tackled the issue of supersonic jet fighters, claiming that the acquisition of expensive jets should not be detrimental to the other branches of the Czech military. The acquisition of jet fighters, if realized, would greatly impact the Czech national budget. Lord Robertson declared that NATO had no influence over the decision, which should be made by the Czech government. The issue as to whether such a purchase is necessary at this time is currently being debated among Czech politicians. The tender for 24 or 36 supersonics was officially announced in January 2001, but a decision not to purchase the supersonics can still be made.

At a press briefing following his meeting with President Havel, Lord Robertson acknowledged the importance of the Prague summit, which will be the first NATO summit held beyond the former "Iron Curtain." The summit will discuss the possibility of further enlargement within the Alliance. Secretary General Robertson later met with the Czech Foreign Minister Jan Kavan to discuss the Prague summit, the relations of NATO with Russia and the Ukraine, and the enlargement of the Alliance and its relations towards the EU. Additionally, Lord Robertson met with other high-level Czech officials during his visit, including Defense Minister Vladimir Vetchy, with whom he discussed the integration and cooperation of the Czech army with NATO forces, as well as personnel issues. At a press conference after his meeting with Prime Minister Milos Zeman, Secretary Robertson suggested that the Czech Army needs an overall improvement, with an emphasis on becoming smaller, more effective and more mobile.

George Robertson became the Secretary General of NATO in October 1999, succeeding Javier Solana of Spain. Before his appointment as Secretary General, Lord Robertson served as the Minister of Defense in the British Labour government of Prime Minister Tony Blair.


Agreement on National Building Signed

Mr. Jan H. Pokorny of the Bohemian Benevolent and Literary Association and Mr. Petr Gandalovic, Consul General of the Czech Republic, have signed an agreement stipulating the Czech Republic=s purchase of the National building from the BBLA on January 31, 2001. The signing followed a vote, in which all seven member organizations within the BBLA agreed to sell the building to the Czech government. The contract will go into effect after an endorsement by the respective U.S. authorities.

Both sides of the contract agree that the signing is a great success toward the National Building reconstruction project. The reincarnation of the National Building is proof of the successful cooperation between the Czech-American community and the Czech Republic.

Czech Tests Find No Threat of Uranium

A vast majority of Czech troops returning in January 2001 from their six-month mission to Kosovo have undergone medical screenings in connection with the so-called "Balkan syndrome." According to the results of the tests, not one of the 169 soldiers tested was affected by depleted uranium radiation. The Czech Army elected to conduct medical checkups after reports that soldiers serving in the Kosovo region may have been affected by the use of ammunition containing depleted uranium. The controversy started after Italy reported that six of their soldiers have died from leukemia, allegedly by being exposed to radiation from the uranium. NATO has insisted that the use of depleted uranium poses no health risks. The results of the examinations performed on Czech soldiers returning from Kosovo provided no evidence of health risks, including no evidence of unusual radiation levels among Czech troops, nor in the air, water or food tested in areas where they were based. The Czech army plans to test every soldier returning from the Balkans once a year.

Ronald Reagan Turns 90

President Ronald Reagan, who commemorated his 90th birthday on February 6, enjoys the deep respect of many people throughout the world for his role in toppling communism and spreading the ideals of democracy, an open society and a free market. He is undoubtedly considered to be one of the leading figures of the twentieth century. On February 6, in honor of his birthday, the Czech Republic established The Ronald Reagan Foundation as a token of appreciation. The foundation aims to spread the notion of the Afreedom of the individual,@ and to preserve the historic role played by President Reagan and his preservation of these values. The foundation will collect funds to be used to honor teenagers and students whose achievements have shown that they will further contribute to the ideals to which Reagan devoted his life. As part of their effort to popularize the legacy of President Reagan, the web site was launched. The preparatory committee of the foundation has asked the Reagan family for their approval in naming the prize after Ronald Reagan. President Reagan also received letters of congratulation from various Czech politicians, including Czech President Vaclav Havel.

Ambassador Vondra in Iowa

Ambassadors Alexandr Vondra of the Czech Republic and Martin Butora of the Slovak Republic joined renowned speaker and author Michael Novak and more than fifteen other outstanding scholars in a conference on March 2 and 3, 2001 at the Czech and Slovak National Museum and Library (NCSML) in Cedar Rapids, Iowa.

"The Czech and Slovak 20th Century in Retrospect: 1900 -1938" was the second conference hosted by the NCSML. Scholars and community-based researchers from across the United States addressed a wide selection of topics, including arts and culture, industrial development, and the political challenges of Czechoslovakia=s First Republic. The Conference also incorporated speakers closely associated with the historical, cultural, and industrial figures and events from the First Republic. Hugh Agnew, Gregory Ference, Martin Votruba, Pavel Cernoch, Thomas Hasler, James Flak, Dusan Neumann, and Paul Lebloch were among the speakers.

The conference included an Ambassadors´ Forum, with a focus on Slovakia´s interest in joining NATO. Congressman Jim Leach, Michael Novak and Ambassadors Vondra and Butora expressed their support for Slovak aspirations of NATO membership.

The renewed NCSML was opened in October 1995 by Presidents Clinton, Havel and Kovac. Under the leadership of its current president, Daniel Baldwin, the museum has developed into a national institution that promotes the Czech and Slovak historical heritage and presence.

Honorary Consuls of the Czech Republic to meet in Washington, D.C.

This year´s annual meeting of Honorary Consuls of the Czech Republic in the United States will be held on March 26, 2001 at the Czech Embassy in Washington D.C. The meeting's main objective is to exchange between representatives of the Embassy and Honorary Consuls information in the consular, economic and cultural fields. Event speakers include Ambassador Alexandr Vondra, Mr. Michael Zantovsky, Head of the Committee for Foreign Affairs, Defense and Security of the Senate of the Czech Republic, and Ms. Ivana Hlavsová, Head of the Department of American States at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Czech Republic.



News Digest

February 1 - French Premier Lionel Jospin presented Czech President Vaclav Havel with the first-ever World Academy of Cultures Grand Prize. President Havel, 64, is the first holder of the annual prize, awarded to him for his "exceptional literary" and "historical political work." In his speech, Jospin praised various aspects of Havel's personality and career as a playwright. He additionally stressed Havel=s gifted capacity as an essayist, capable of deep insight and the ability to convey fine analyses of the changes in Western society, and as a philosopher dealing such phenomena as freedom, truth and responsibility.

February 1 - The Austrian environmental organization Global 2000 commented on a statement made by Milan Nebesar, the Temelin nuclear power plant spokesman. In his statement, Nebesar claimed that the Temelin reactor might be re-launched next week. Global 2000 spokeswoman Andrea Paukovits called his announcement a "double provocation,@ claiming that ADespite problems with the turbine repair, which is to last until mid-February, the fission chain reaction is scheduled to be re-launched as soon as next week. It is a double provocation to us - on the one hand the operator is evidently in a hurry to re-launch the operation, and on the other, an environmental impact assessment at Temelin has been postponed for weeks.@

February 2 - President Vaclav Havel and Russian Foreign Minister Igor Ivanov discussed Czech-Russian relations during the Minister=s visit to the Czech Republic. Havel and Ivanov agreed that the Czech Republic's membership in NATO will not impede the development of relations between the two countries.

February 2 - Czech Prime Minister Milos Zeman and Russian Foreign Minister Igor Ivanov discussed the revitalization of Czech-Russian relations regarding the Russian debt from the past, bilateral trade, and other spheres of life. Zeman and Ivanov correspondingly discussed the Czech trade deficit with Russia. Milos Zeman also invited Russian Premier Mikhail Kasyanov to the Czech Republic.

February 2 - Czech Foreign Minister Jan Kavan and his Russian partner Igor Ivanov agreed on the necessity to establish regular political dialogue on various levels between the Czech Republic and Russia. Igor Ivanov is the first Russian foreign minister to visit the Czech Republic since 1994. The ministers agreed to activate political dialogue to help revive Czech-Russian relations in all spheres. Minister Kavan emphasized Prague's will to take "a creative approach" in implementing the visa requirements imposed on Russia last year, so that the move does not thwart either trade or the influx of Russian tourists to the Czech Republic.

February 2 - At a meeting in Vienna, experts from the Czech Republic and Austria discussed safety precautions and related questions regarding the Temelin nuclear power station in South Bohemia with EC representatives. The meeting was organized in accordance with the agreement reached last December by Czech Premier Milos Zeman and Austrian Chancellor Wolfgang Schuessel in Melk, Austria regarding the power station.

February 5 - While speaking at a trade and investment seminar in Gothenburg during his two-day visit to Sweden, Premier Milos Zeman called on Sweden enhance investment in Czech industry. Zeman noted that even the prudent Japanese were investing in the Czech Republic, while the Swedes exhibited hesitation. Zeman portrayed the Czech Republic as a stable environment for Swedish investments.


February 9 - After nearly six weeks of striking at the Czech Public TV station, the Chamber of Deputies of the Czech Parliament elected Jiri Balvin, a former art programs director as interim director of the public Czech Television. Balvin, 47, was supported by 102 out of the 192 deputies who participated in the secret ballot. Following the announcement of Balvin´s appointment, the striking journalists declared they were ready for negotiations aimed at ending the strike. Spokesperson for the striking TV journalists, Adam Komers, said that after talks with Mr. Balvin, "a lot of accommodation toward ending the strike as quickly as possible was shown at the meeting." On February 10, the logo "strike" disappeared from its place on the station=s screen. The strike was sparked by the journalists´ disagreement with the appointments of previous CT management, whom they considered to be politically biased.

February 10 - Czech President Vaclav Havel considers the first steps taken by Czech TV interim director Jiri Balvin to be reasonable. Several hours after his election, Balvin met with representatives of the striking CT employees. The talks suggested the potential for "calmer and more concentrated work," according to Vaclav Havel.

February 11 - Deputy Foreign Minister Hynek Kmonicek signed a contract with Saudi Arabian representatives in Riyadh for the sale of a building in Prague which will house a Saudi embassy. A precise date for the opening of the Saudi embassy now depends on how quickly the building can be restructured. "We expect this to happen this year," according to Kmonicek. Havel said he considered the signing of the contract to be a another step towards expanding cooperation between the Czech Republic and Saudi Arabia.

February 10 - Czech President Vaclav Havel and Saudi King Fahd stressed the importance of cooperation between the Czech Republic and Saudi Arabia during their talks held in Riyadh. During talks with King Fahd, Havel stressed the Czech Republic's interest in the development of cooperation and good relations with Saudi Arabia, as well as with other Middle Eastern countries.

February 11 - the Czech Republic has decided to withdraw several requests for transition periods to facilitate its accession talks with the European Union. Prague has informed the European Commission that the energy chapter no longer insists on the postponement of the liberalization of the energy market until the year 2005.

February 12 - the Czech Republic prefers that EU citizens not be allowed to buy farm and forest land on its territory for the first ten years after its admission into the EU. The specification was a condition for further progress in negotiations on the "free movement of capital" chapter, which is to be taken up again during accession negotiations in the spring.

February 12 - During his official visit to Belgium, Czech Premier Milos Zeman said that the Swedish and Belgian presidency of the EU will be crucial for EU enlargement. While in Belgium, Zeman discussed the idea of a federalist Europe and the topic of a formation of a casual bloc of small and middle-sized EU countries to counterweight the larger nations.

February 12 - Czech TV interim director Jiri Balvin appointed Petr Koliha as the new Czech TV program director and Petr Vasicek as the new financial director.

February 12 - Czech President Vaclav Havel was admitted to the Central Military Hospital after arriving from Kuwait. Havel had to abruptly shorten his visit to Kuwait and Saudi Arabia due to bronchitis and the beginnings of pneumonia, which he developed while visiting the Arabian Peninsula.

February 13 - During talks with his Czech counterpart Milos Zeman, Luxembourg Prime Minister Jean-Claude Juncker said there would be transition periods on employment restrictions for citizens of the new EU member countries, but that they are likely to last less than seven years. Juncker also stressed the importance of the current EU membership candidates not becoming second-class members once they have entered the EU.

February 13 - Luxembourg and Czech Prime Ministers Jean-Claude Juncker and Milos Zeman stated at a press conference that the political, economic and cultural relations between the two countries are excellent. Zeman announced that as of January 1, 2002, the Czech Republic shall establish an independent embassy in the Grand Duchy.

February 13 - If parliamentary elections had been held at the end of January, the Coalition-of-Four would have received about one third of the vote and come in first, according to a poll carried out by the Sofres-Factum polling agency. The Coalition-of-Four enjoys the support of 25.2 percent of the electorate. The Civic Democratic Party (ODS) would have come in second in January, supported by 17.3 percent of the electorate. The ruling Social Democratic Party (CSSD) would have come in third with the support of 15.1 percent of the electorate. The Communist Party (KSCM) would have come in fourth, with the support of 12.7 percent of the electorate.

February 13 - Interior Minister Stanislav Gross (Social Democrats, CSSD), independent Senator Vaclav Fischer, and Chamber of Deputies Deputy Chairwoman Petra Buzkova (CSSD) are the politicians who "most benefit Czech society," according to a poll conducted by the Sofres-Factum agency.

February 14 - Seventy percent of the Czech population approves of the country´s membership in NATO, while about 24 percent of the people disagree with the membership. The latter segment of society=s main problem lies in identifying themselves with the membership in the pact. As was suggested by the respondents of the poll, the NATO membership brought positive as well as negative consequences. More than two thirds of the respondents praised the country's having joined the West, that their security has been ensured, and that their Army=s combat ability has been increased.

February 14 - Chairman of the Czech Senate Petr Pithart, who recently flew to Cuba to meet Cuban leader Fidel Castro and discuss the release of Ivan Pilip and Jan Bubenik, spoke before the Senate Foreign Affairs Committee. In his view, Cuba hoped to make an example of MP Pilip and Bubenik by holding them on "subversion" charges for almost one month. According to Pithart, the arrest and detention were connected to the change of the US administration and meant to send a certain signal. Pilip and Bubenik, who were also present at the hearing, told the Committee that their experience in jail strengthened their belief in Cuba=s lack of democracy.

February 16 - U.S. Armed Forces Joint Chiefs of Staff Deputy Chairman Richard Meyers held talks in Prague, mainly to discuss the restructuring of the Czech Army, military aviation, and integration into the structures of NATO. During his two-day visit, he also visited the eastern Bohemian Air Force Base in Caslav, with its fleet of MIG 21´s assigned for NATO purposes. While at Caslav Air Base, Meyers also inspected the L - 159 combat plane. In a meeting with Czech Deputy Defense Minister Jaromir Novotny, Meyers expressed appreciation for the role that Czech soldiers have played in the Balkans.

February 20 - President Havel´s health has improved since February 12, when he was hospitalized in the Central Military Hospital. The tests show that his lung inflammation is on the retreat and his health condition is improving.

February 21 - President Havel met with NATO Secretary General Lord Robertson. The main topics of discussion were the further enlargement of NATO and the "Prague summit" of NATO member states in the fall of 2002. The two politicians also discussed the transformation of the Czech Army and the fulfillment of tasks, which were set for the Czech Republic at the time of their entrance into NATO.

February 26 - the Government has approved a bill to create registered partnerships which will give gay and lesbian couples most of the benefits and responsibilities of marriage. The Chamber of Deputies will take up the new measure in August.

February 28 - President Havel, who spent almost two weeks in a hospital, has fully recovered and is getting ready to resume working. According to Dr. Ilja Kotik, Vaclav Havel has finished his antibiotic treatment and is in a good shape.

Czech Economic Growth is Steady

The Czech economy should continue on its steady growth path in 2001, but the growing corporate debt and upcoming parliament elections in 2002 threaten to slow much needed restructuring at some of the countries largest firms. The Vienna Institute for International Economic Studies (WIIW) stated in a report that the Czech GDP is growing at 3.5 percent this year, after an estimated 3.0 percent last year. The Institute also added that labor productivity rose slightly while unit labor costs were down, but a number of the largest enterprises, including brand names of renown and firmly entrenched regional employers have yet to be restructured.

The Czech economy finally began to show signs of solid recovery last year after a deep recession which saw many state sell-offs grind to a halt. The government is in the midst of revitalizing the process with the privatization of several key firms -- including telecoms Cesky Telecom and Ceske Radiokomunikace, energy producer CEZ and petrochemical holding group Unipetrol -- planned for this year.

To further economic growth, Minister of Industry and Trade Miroslav Gregr announced ambitions to pump CZK 100 billion into the economy this year, and a further 165 billion to boost economic development in the next year. However, some analysts remain skeptical that further government spending will achieve the aforementioned goal.

WIIW=s report also said that while the growth of the public sector debt is a concern (at about five percent of GDP for 2000), the state's accumulated debt is still far below the limit specified in the criteria set by the EU, while general government tax revenues are relatively low at 37 percent of the GDP. The report concluded that given these facts, budgetary problems are discernable, but should remain under control.

Czech Airlines to Lease Two Aircraft in March

In a continuing expansion of its fleet, the state-owned Czech Airlines (CSA) intends to lease two used Boeing 737-400s in March. The carrier did not disclose the cost of the planes, but did say that the catalog price was around $30 million each. The two planes will expand CSA's fleet to 30. CSA will join the Sky Team alliance, led by Air France and the US company Delta Air Lines, in the spring.

CSA says it needs to purchase at least another 10 planes over the next five years to meet the expected growth in traffic in central Europe. Last December, the Czech government unilaterally lifted civil aircraft import duties for 2001, allowing Boeing to offer aircraft on the same conditions as its major European competitor, Airbus. CSA is slated for privatization in 2002.

Business Digest

February 1 - The average age of cars on Czech roads decreased slightly in 2000 to 13.5 years. However, the actual number of cars on the road remains the same, standing at nearly 3 and a half million.

February 5 - The Czech government has approved a National Employment Plan for this year. Its major points include support for job creation, re-qualification, protection against illegal employment, improving conditions for small and medium-sized business, as well as the development of industrial zones. The plan updates the National Employment Program adopted in 1999, which specifies tasks for different levels of state administration. According to the Cabinet, the program has helped to reduce unemployment by one percent, bringing the figure down to 8.9 percent for the year 2000.

February 7 - According to the Agriculture Ministry, Czech distiller Becherovka may soon be fully-privatized after strategic shareholders, who own 30 percent, meet required output targets. Three years ago, a consortium led by the French group Pernod Ricard bought a 30-percent stake in the Czech national liqueur maker, established in 1807.

The consortium paid CZK 673 million ($18.1 million) and was given an option for a further 59 percent if it meets output objectives. The Ministry will recommend the privatization of 59 percent for CZK 1.32 billion ($36 million), as agreed in 1997. The remaining 11 percent will remain in the hands of the city, management, and smaller shareholders. Becherovka produces a well-known sharp and spicy herbal liqueur, similar to the German Jagermeister.

February 8 - Mobile phone operator Cesky Mobil, a unit of Canada's TIW, said the Czech government must cut revenue expectations for third generation UMTS mobile licenses to ensure their success. The Czech Telecommunications Office proposed to offer current operators EuroTel , RadioMobil and Cesky Mobil a UMTS license each for a fixed price of five billion crowns ($133 million). A fourth license would then be auctioned off with a minimum bid of five billion crowns. "The government's expectation that it will receive CZK 5 billion crowns per license is unrealistic in light of recent tender results in other European countries and the current negative sentiment in the markets towards wireless operators," Cesky Mobil said in a statement.

February 9 - The Czech state-owned brewery Budweiser Budvar, locked in a bitter dispute with the U.S. company Anheuser Busch over the Budweiser brand name, said on Thursday that its output and revenues soared last year on booming exports to the EU. Its exports to Germany shot up 101 percent, where it sold 185,000 hectoliters. Additionally, exports to Great Britain were up 106 percent at 89,000 hectoliters. Budvar plans to sell 1.46 million hectoliters this year, which should bring revenues of CZK 2.76 billion.

February 12 - Siemens CR, the Czech unit of Germany's Siemens, posted a strong sales increase last year driven by telecommunications activities. Their total turnover was CZK 32 billion, up 24 percent year-on-year. Siemens' Telecommunications division accounted for almost one third of the turnover. The company is the main supplier for Cesky Mobil, the country's third mobile phone operator which launched services last March. Siemens CR is close to acquiring assets in the Czech rail vehicle producer CKD DS. The company confirmed that the CZK 750 million deal should be concluded in February.

February 13 - According to a report compiled by the United Nations European Economic Commission, the economic gap between East and West Europe is at its widest of recent decades. The recessions that hit post-communist countries in Central and Eastern Europe in the early 1990s have gradually been overcome as these countries transform into free market economies. But, as the report says, it will take many years for the countries to catch up with the poorest states in the EU. This process could take 10-15 years for the Czech Republic, and 20-25 years for fellow front-runner EU candidate countries, Hungary and Poland.

February 14 - Czech retail sales and construction output continued to grow in December, but analysts say the economy is still far from showing signs of overheating. The Czech Statistical Office reported that retail sales rose 4.1 percent in December after a 0.7 percent increase in November. The full-year figure was up 4.6 percent after 2.1 percent in 1999. The volatile construction sector saw output grow 2.9 percent in December, down from 11.7 percent in the previous month. Output was up 5.3 percent for the whole year, while falling 6.5 percent in 1999. Employment in the construction industry dropped by 4.7 percent last year, while real wages grew 1.0 percent.

February 16 - The Czech telecommunications firm Ceske Radiokomunikace reported a sharp increase in profits, boosted by a one-off payment for a stake in its soon-to-be privatized mobile phone operator Radiokom. Profits after taxes rose to over CZK 15 billion last year from CZK 450 million in 1999. Radiokom said the results were influenced by a $535 million payment from Deutsche Telekom for a stake in the mobile phone operator RadioMobil.

February 19 - Dutch electronics firm Philips is considering building a picture tube plant in the Czech Republic which will cost more than CZK 20 billion crowns ($530 million) to construct. Newspapers quoted government sources as saying that Philips was considering building the plant in the south-eastern part of the country, but might also pick Hungary, Poland or an unspecified Asian country. The company should make a decision by the end of March. Philips is currently building another $200 million picture tube plant in the north-east Czech town of Hranice. The Dutch manufacturer moved its regional center for Central and Eastern Europe to the Czech Republic in 1999.

February 20 - the Czech units of GE Capital and ING Group will start offering pension insurance products, extending its existing cooperation on the local mortgage loan market. The two banks do not have a large distribution network but said they would still seek exploration into the booming retail market, focusing mainly on new distribution channels. The ING Group had around 350,000 clients in the Czech Republic at the beginning of this year, while GE Capital Bank reported 420,000 clients last year.

February 22 - Hungarian systems integrator Synergon Information Systems said on Wednesday that it had completed its acquisition of a majority stake in the Czech firm Infinity, valued at CZK 40 million ($1.05 million). Synergon and Infinity plan to take five to 10 percent of the Czech market in the area of electronic commerce. Infinity has partnership deals with Microsoft, Compaq, and Nortel Networks.

February 23 - the Czech antitrust office (UOHS) has approved the merger of the local banks CSOB and IPB, saying the tie-up does not break competition rules. Alone, neither entitiy controls more than 30 percent of the relevant markets, according to the statement by CSOB, a unit of Belgium's KBC. After the merger, CSOB will become the largest Czech bank in terms of assets.

Czech film Divided We Fall Nominated for An Oscar

The Czech film ADivided We Fall@ ( original title: Musime si pomahat) received an Oscar nomination for Best Foreign Film. The film had received very good critic and audience responses in the Czech Republic and had become a highlight at many US film festivals. Director Jan Hrebejk had already gained mass popularity with his previous film, AThe Cozy Dens@ (presented by DC Filmfest in 2000). His third film, ADivided We Fall,@ further secures Mr. Hrebejk's position among the best of the shining young generation of Czech filmmakers. Once again, Hrebejk and writer Petr Jarchovsky, who wrote the screenplays for Hrebejk=s other films, collaborated on this film. ADivided We Fall@ presents a very unusual WWII drama: It is a story without any definitive heroes, and without any radical distinction between the good and bad. The film=s secret lies not only in its fresh point of view, but in its ability to view all events with humor. The Academy will announce the winners of the awards at their annual ceremony on March 25.

The last Czech film to win an Oscar was AKolya,@ directed by Jan Sverak in 1994.


The Chicago Opera Theater presents The Good Soldier Svejk

The Chicago Opera Theater presents a new production of the satirical opera The Good Soldier Schweik (Svejk), based on the celebrated book by Jaroslav Hasek.

In 1957, Robert Kirka, a native of Cicero, Illinois, completed an opera based on the most famous Czech book of all time: The Fateful Adventures of the Good Soldier Svejk, a black comedy following the misadventures of a supposedly naive, happy-go-lucky Czech soldier caught up in the Austro-Hungarian war machine of World War I. The opera The Good Soldier Schweik premiered at the New York City Opera in 1958 and in Chicago in 1981, produced by the Chicago Opera Theater. The opera was embraced by audiences, particularly by the large Czech communities around Chicago and its suburbs.

Now, the Chicago Opera Theater is bringing this much-loved opera back to Chicago with a new production, opening March 21st. Special discounts are available for Czech Groups (up to 25% off single tickets). Children and full-time students receive a 50% discount off single tickets. For tickets, please call the Chicago Opera Theater Box Office at 312-704-8414, or Ticketmaster at 312-902-1500. Or, visit or the Athenaeum Theare.

Profile : Peter C. Schultz, Ph.D.

As a real-life example of the American Dream, we are proud to present Dr. Peter C. Schultz, the son of two people of European origin who met in America, the land of freedom and unlimited opportunity. In an atmosphere of nurturing and education, they raised their son to become the famous inventor and world-renowned scientist who caused the telecommunications revolution.

Dr. Schultz's maternal grandparents, Peter Koncelik and Agnes Pojer, immigrated to America from what is today the Czech Republic. They both arrived to America in 1906 and settled in the strong Czech Community in East Islip, NY, where Dr. Schultz´s mother Agnes Koncelik was born and later married to Arthur Schultz. Though their son Peter was born in Brooklyn, NY in 1942, he maintains a strong pride in his Czech roots. He once wrote :

"I have always felt a very strong bond with my Czech heritage. I have fond memories of visiting my grandparents in East Islip, NY. . . meeting other Czech relatives and friends living nearby, eating Czech pastries and enjoying the warmth of the family. I am proud that the blood of these resilient, creative and industrious people flows through my veins." Dr. Peter Schultz made his first visit to the Czech Republic in 1977 where he was presented with the Weyl International Glass Science Award. He has since made several return trips to his motherland and looks forward to finding his living relatives.

Peter Schultz is President of Heraeus Amersil, Inc., a 200 million dollar technical glass manufacturer that specializes in fiber optics and semiconductor markets, and is the Chief Technical Officer in North America for Heraeus Holding GmbH. Following his graduation from Rutgers University (BS 1964, Ph.D. 1967), he co-developed the world´s first practical glass optical fiber for communications as a scientist at Corning, Inc. in 1972. He is the co-inventor of the fiber optics now used worldwide for telecommunications. Today, the "outside vapor deposition" (OVD) processes for making optical fibre for telecommunications are fundamental for all manufacturing of commercial fiber, a fiber which can carry 65,000 times more information than the conventional copper wire. Corning, the world´s largest fiber maker, exclusively uses this process, which is based on Dr. Schultz´s personal efforts to champion such a cost effective approach. Additionally, Dr. Schultz co-invented the doped fused silica glasses for optical fibers, now used by all telecom fiber, and conducted ground-breaking research on the influence of a wide range of "impurities" on the optical properties of fused silica.

It was while at Rutgers that Dr. Schultz elected for a ceramic engineering career. However, it was not classical ceramics or ceramicware that he was interested in, but rather the development of high-temperature materials that would have applications in missile cones and rocket nozzles. He says, "This is what I found interesting. It was a whole new world that I knew nothing about. And that was really the beginning of my career." Today, Peter Schultz holds 26 patents, has written nearly 30 research papers, and is an expert in fused silica glasses. He has taught at Cornell University, George Washington University and The University of Virginia. He also has extensive legal experience as an expert witness in patent defense.

Dr. Schultz is the recipient of numerous awards, including the International Glass Science Award (1977), SPIE Technology Achievement Award (1981), ASM Engineering Material Achievement Award (1983), First American Innovators Award (US Dept. Of Commerce 1995), Rutgers University Distinguished Alumni (2000), and a Fellow of the American Ceramic Society. For his immense contributions he was inducted into the National Inventors Hall of Fame in 1993. Dr. Schultz's great accomplishments were even recognized by President Bill Clinton: on December 1, 2000, he was among five scientists at the White House to be presented with the National Medal of Technology, the nation´s highest technology honor, for his important contributions to the nation.

Dr. Schultz and his wife Mary Anne live in Athens, GA. They have four grown children and two grandchildren.


Celebration of the first-ever American release of The Sorrows of Prince Sternenhoch by Ladislav Klima on April 18, 2001, at 7 p.m. at Politics and Prose Bookstore

The poet, writer, prosaic, playwright, and above all philosopher Ladislav Klíma was as a personality so original that his writings have always evoked, and still evoke, great interest. Many admire him so much that they greatly appreciate him for definitively and in synthetic form solving the question not only of the meaning of being a human, but also of existence and the meaning of the universe. Others ridicule him, find him offensive and frequently, even damned. His way of thinking and his work are so provocative and influential that his publications were paradoxically forbidden in both pre-war and communist Czechoslovakia, in order to prevent him from diverting citizens from the enthusiastic building of the state. It was said that his work was the brainchild of degeneration and abnormality.

The fact remains that his poetic hand is irreplaceable, fascinating, and evokes strong intellectual and emotional processes.

Every person of course becomes aware in transience of his own. Inevitable fate is gradual extinction. At the end of the journey and lifelong struggle, death grotesquely grimaces at you. It is therefore necessary to cast away the senseless, daily bustle and immerse yourself in philosophy.

Klíma's heroic philosophy gives complex and practical instruction on how to overcome the senselessness of life. The first and last step (or rather jump), is to re-merge with the whole universe. Find oneself in everything that ostensibly reveals itself as separate. Overcome the false perception of the world as a separate part and recognize its intrinsic oneness.

Stop being a passive creature, powerless and waiting for death with folded arms, and become the sovereign ruler not only of one's own fate, but the fate of the whole world --the universe, and therefore everything, merges into one. And thus, as in the kit of every soldier there is a marshal's stick, so in every person there is a deity ready for its awakening. And precisely this awakening is the only true goal, the only true goal. It is the path to final salvation.

A larger and wider acknowledgment and understanding awaits Klíma's works at the end of this century. It would not escape the attention of the more careful follower of world thought trends that in his poetically-written and philosophically-contrived ideas about the functioning and sense of the universe, he foretold the discoveries of contemporary astrophysics (of Stephan Hawking).

Also of interest is that the President of the Czech Republic, Václav Havel dedicated a considerable amount of his own financial resources towards the preservation and restoration of Klíma's quite divergent literary unpublished works.


Excerpt from a statement made by Jan Hladky and Lumir Tucek on the occasion of the Washington, DC premiere of the Play The All or Nothing Struggle, based on the work of Ladislav Klima.


The Czechoslovak-American Marionette Theatre Performs at La MaMa

La MaMa Experimental Theater Club in New York will present a performance of "Prose of the Transsiberian and of Little Joan of France" by the Czechoslovak-American Marionette Theatre from April 5 to April 27. Based on the 1913 poem "La Prose du Transsiberian et de la Pettite Jehannde de France" by Blasie Cendrara, this tale of adventurous travels on the Transsiberian railroad in 1905 and the upheavals of the Russo-Japanese War is a new creation by Vit Horejs and the CAMT.

The poem will be staged as a multi-disciplined puppet-dance theater collaboration by director/librettist and founder of the CAMT, Vit Horejs, puppet designer Jakub "Kuba" Krejci, a graduate of the Prague Puppetry School, composer, musical director and musician Jemeel Moondoc and choreographer Babs Case.

The Czechoslovak-American Marionette Theatre was founded in 1990 by Vit Horejs, an émigré from Prague. Utilizing century-old Czech puppets that he found in the Jan Hus Church on East 74th Street in New York, Horejs has made his trademark performing with puppets of many sizes --from six-inch toy marionettes to some that are near human size. In "Prose of the Transsiberian and of Little Joan of France," 210 eight-inch puppets portraying the Japanese and Russian armies, designed and built in Prague by Milos Kasal, will be manipulated with patented pantographic multi-controls designed by Mr. Horejs. Such controls allow a single puppeteer to manipulate scores of marionettes en masse.

Due to its subject matter, "Prose of the Transsiberian and of Little Joan of France" is recommended for adults only. The Czechoslovak-American Marionette Theatre will offer a separate attraction for its younger audiences during the run of the play, including several children's stories of Czech origin. Throughout the run of the show, the lobby of the Theatre will include an exhibit of art by the company's collaborators and designers, including lithographs, designs and puppets by Jakub "Kuba" Krejci.

To contact the Box Office of La MaMa Experimental Theater Club, please call (212) 475-7710, or visit

Embassy Events


Friday, March 23

The Martinu String Quartet will present the works of Haydn, Smetana and Schubert. The ensemble, which was founded in 1976 at the Prague Conservatory under the guidance of Viktor Moucka of the legendary Vlach Quartet, has won numerous prizes at major international competitions, including Portsmouth, ARD Radio in Munich, Evian, and the Prague Spring Festival. The group garnered its name from the prolific early 20th-century composer Bohuslav Martinu. At the Czech Embassy, 7:30 p.m. Reservations are recommended. Please call 202.274.9100 x. 3413. Tickets are $10 at the door.


Continuing through April 25

The collection of work by Jan Svankmajer and Eva Svankmajerova, both active members of the Czech and Slovak Surrealist movement, presents paintings, ceramics, marionettes, tactile art, illustrations and props from their films. On display through April 25, weekdays from 9-5 and evenings during events.


Wednesday, April 11

A modern legend of the Czech stage, the musician, storyteller and songwriter Vaclav Koubek composes verses that provide a wistful mixture of beautiful melancholia and intelligent humor. While accompanying himself with only an accordion, his performances are reminiscent of early 20th century Prague Cabarets. Though storytelling might often seem like a lost art, it can be found in the presence of Vaclav Koubek with his sensitive portrayal and extraordinary ability to transport his characters' emotions to the audience. Vaclav Koubek's performance will be in the Czech language only. At 7:30 p.m. at the Czech Embassy. Reservations are recommended. Please call 202/274-9100, x. 3413. Tickets are $10 dollars at the door.


Wednesday, April 18

"The non-conformist work of Ladislav Klima has almost always shocked us, has often incited scandal, but has hardly ever left us indifferent . . . we might move the awareness of the horizons of our own will, and of our own skills, in agreement with Klima, much rather than we generally, and a bit timidly, are willing to admit," writes Vaclav Havel about the profound work of Czech writer Ladislav Klima (1878-1928). On the 73rd Anniversary of his death, the Embassy celebrates the first-ever American release of The Sorrows of Prince Sternenhoch by Ladislav Klima (see the article for more information). Please join the Czech Embassy and Politics and Prose Bookstore in a celebratory presentation of the book in collaboration with the SCENA Theater. At 7:00 p.m., Politics and Prose Bookstore, 5015 Connecticut Avenue, NW. Admission is free.

Ongoing Events

Through April 1

The Wolfsonian-Florida International University hosts the exhibition of Dreams and Disillusion: Karel Teige and the Czech Avant-Garde

1001 Washington Avenue, Miami Beach, FL 33139

Adults $5, seniors, students and children 6-12 $3.50

Wolfsonian Members, FIU students, faculty, staff with ID and children under 6 are free

For more information, please call 305-531-1001


Events around the USA

March 17 & 18

Western District BOI Semi-Annual Meeting in Crete, NE

2:00 PM and 8:30 AM

March 21

The National Czech and Slovak Museum & Library hosts "Learn at Lunch" with Dave Muhlena, NCSML Librarian, who will discuss the changes that have occurred in the library and its benefit researchers. Bring a sack lunch and learn about Czech and Slovak traditions.

Heritage Hall, 30 -16th Avenue, SW, Cedar Rapids, IA

12:00 PM

Admission is free

March 23 & 30

The American Sokol Washington, DC Activities hosts Gymnastics for Children.

At the Wood Acres Elementary School, 5800 Cromwell Drive, Bethesda, MD 20816

8:15 PM -10:00 PM

For more information, please call 301-424-1658

March 23 & 30

The American Sokol Washington, DC Activities hosts Aerobics for Adults.

At the Wood Acres Elementary School, 5800 Cromwell Drive, Bethesda, MD 20816

8:30 PM -9:30 PM

For more information, please call 703-534-3648

March 25

The American Czech-Slovak Cultural Club presents The Shop on Main Street, directed by Jan Kadar and Elmar Klos. The Shop on Main Street was the first Czechoslovakian film to garner an Academy Award for Best Foreign film in 1965, and one of the first films to approach the subject of the Nazi occupation in Slovakia (1965, 128 minutes). In Slovak with English subtitles.

13325 Arch Creek Road, North Miami.

3:30 PM

For more information, please call 305-891-9130 or visit

March 25

The National Czech and Slovak Museum & Library presents the Life Long Learning Series with "Museums Collections and Exhibits: Curatorial Dilemmas" by Carmen Langel, Curator at the NCSML. The program will include a tour of the temporary exhibit as seen through the eyes of its curator.

Heritage Hall, 30 -16th Avenue, SW, Cedar Rapids, IA

2:00 PM

Admission is free

March 31

The 92nd Street Y Tisch Center for the Arts announces a performance by the Skampa String Quartet

Tickets are $25 for each concert. A limited number of $10 seats are available in the rear orchestra. High School and undergraduate college tickets are $5

For information, tickets or a free catalogue of 92nd Street Y, please call 212-415-5500, or visit the 92nd Street Y Box Office (Lexington Avenue at 92nd Street, NY)

April 3

Organized by the Philadelphia Chamber Music Society, the renowned Skampa Quartet returns to Philadelphia to perform works by Mozart and Beethoven.

At the Philadelphia Convention Center.

3:00 PM

For tickets, please call the PCMS Box Office at 215-569-8080.

April 4

Karlin Wednesday Concerts features the Homesteaders, with Czech food and dancing.

At the Karlin Hall and Fleet Club, 5304 Fleet Avenue, Cleveland, OH

5:30 -7:30 Czech Food, 7:30 -10-30 Dancing

For details, please call 216-883-4760

April 4 -May 1

Friends of Czech Greenways invites you to enjoy a Festival of Czech Music, presented by the Orchestra of St. Luke=s -St. Luke=s Chamber ensemble with Sir Charles Mackerras, Music Director.

Wednesday, April 4

8:00 PM

Carnegie Hall

Dvorak: Violin Concerto in A minor

Janacek: String Quartet No. 1

Dvorak: Symphony No. 7

Pre-Concert Lecture Begins at 7:00 PM

Sunday, April 22

2:00 PM

Brooklyn Museum of Art


Wednesday, April 25

8:00 PM

Weill Recital Hall at Carnegie Hall

Reicha: Quartet No. 2

Janacek: Suite for Strings

Dvorak: Serenade for Winds

Tuesday, May 1, 6:30 PM

Congregation Emanu-El

Excerpt in Czech from the poem May by K.H. Macha (1810-1836)

Zelenka: Sonata for Two Oboes and Continuo

Zelenka: Suite for Two Oboes, Bassoon and Strings

Myslivecek: Selected arias from Medonte and Il Bellerofonte

For concert details and ticket information, Call St. Luke=s at 212-594-6100

For information about the Czech Greenways, call 718-258-5468 or visit

April 16

The Czech Komensky Club -University of Nebraska-Lincoln hosts Czech Easter Traditions, a lecture by Katya Koubek and followed by an Easter Potluck Party.

At the Nebraska Union Building, 14 & R Street, Lincoln

7:00 PM

April 21

Annual Sokol Volleyball Tournament for the Easter District will be held at Sokol Hall, NY

April 21

Sokol South Omaha Western District Children=s Competition hosted by Sokol Cedar Rapids.

For more information, please call 402-731-1065

April 30 -May 6

Sokol South Omaha Mini-Slet

2021 U Street

Omaha, NE 68107

For more information, please call 402-731-1065

Czech Center New York

Series : Czech Baroque Culture

The beauty of Czech Baroque Architecture, Photographs by Vladimir Uher

March 13, 2001 -April 27, 2001, Czech Center

Series of events designed to introduce Czech Baroque Culture. The series opens on March 13 with a lecture by Vit Vlnas entitled the "Historical Heritage of Baroque in Bohemia."


Film : Karel Zeman Retrospective

March 16, 2001 -April, 1, 2001, The Screen, Santa Fe, New Mexico

Animated film series of the Czech filmmaker, one of the founders of Czech animated film, Karel Zeman, tours the U.S.A. (Los Angeles, Santa Fe, New York City, Cleveland, Berkeley, Washington, D.C.). There are more than 20 of his films shown.

Literature : Bubbling Cities and Poetry of David Vavra

March, 22, 2001, Czech Center New York

David Vavra -writer, actor (Theater Sklep) and architect presents three films introducing modern Czech architecture and reads from his poetry.

Film : A Cottage in the Woods

March 29, 2001, Czech Center New York

Videoscreening of 1976 feature film directed by Jiri Menzel

Music : Poetica Musica Concert

March 30, 2001, Casa Italiana, New York University, NYC

This concert is a benefit for the Baroque Theater at the Castle in Cesky Krumlov, Czech Republic

Presentation : Kuks -Endangered Jewel of Czech Baroque

Gala presentation of sculptural monuments on Friday, April 27

Colona Club Ball Room, 564 Park Avenue and 62nd St., New York


zech Center New York

Videoscreening of 1976 feature film directed by Jiri Menzel

Music : Poetica Musica Concert

March 30, 2001, Casa Italiana, New York University, NYC

This concert is a benefit for the Baroque Theater at the Castle in Cesky Krumlov, Czech Republic

Presentation : Kuks -Endangered Jewel of Czech Baroque

Gala presentation of sculptural monuments on Friday, April 27

Colona Club Ball Room, 564 Park Avenue and 62nd St., New York