Thursday, April 26, 2012

Radio Prague Today 4.26.2012

Articles posted today

Head of STEM polling agency: Czechs are ashamed of their politicians

Half-way through the government's term in office Czechs are so fed up with political infighting and corruption scandals that 80 percent of them now support early elections. For this week's Panorama I spoke to Jan Hartl head of the STEM polling agency about the mood of the public, what people think of Czech politicians and whether the developments of the past few months have robbed them of any illusions they may have had regarding politics.

Karolína Peake says her new political force is here to stay

Just two years ago the name Karolína Peake was known to few people outside of the issue of playgrounds in Prague 1. Today she's the keystone in the fractured coalition government. Last week, the 36-year-old deputy prime minister caused an upheaval in the government when she abandoned the junior coalition party Public Affairs, of which she has been a member since 2007, and took eight of the party's MPs with her. The result of the split has been the departure of Public Affairs from government to the opposition, and a wafer-thin majority in Parliament for the centre-right reform parties. That majority is based entirely on the newly emerging party around Mrs. Peake, which at present can only be called the Public Affairs defectors. Is this the start of a new political organisation with long-term goals, or a quick fix intended to allow the government to ride out the next two years, that's the first question we put to Karolína Peake on Thursday.

Learning Czech at UC Berkeley

The University of California, Berkeley is one of 11 American universities where students can study Czech language, literature and culture. Small but dedicated groups of students grapple with the challenges of Czech grammar and pronunciation in up to three classes per week. Despite budget cuts throughout all departments of public universities in California, Czech, a niche central European language, still has its place at the Department of Slavic Languages and maintains enthusiasm amongst those eager to learn it.