Saturday, October 20, 2012

Radio Prague Today 10.20.2012

Articles posted today

Mailbox 20.10.2012

Today in Mailbox: Listening to Radio Prague, comments on recent events and the current situation in the Czech Republic, answers to last month's competition question. Listeners/readers quoted: Jędrzej, Ian Morrison, Mary Lou Krenek, Chun-quan Meng, Barbara M. Ziemba, Charles Konecny.

Czechoslovakia in 1991: What to do with former secret police collaborators?

One of the most passionate debates in Czechoslovakia in the first years after the fall of communism was over what to do with people who had collaborated with the secret police – the StB – or had held prominent functions in the Communist Party. In 1991 the so-called "screening law" was passed, under which former StB collaborators were prevented from holding certain senior posts – for example in academia or in the civil service. At the time Radio Prague invited two Czech politicians into the studio: the left-of-centre member of the Federal Parliament, Jan Kavan, and the leader of the small right-wing Conservative Party, Jiří Kotas. Here is an extract from the debate, starting with Jiří Kotas, who was strongly in favour of the law:

The black experience in the Czech Republic

In the past 20 years, the number of foreigners living in the Czech Republic has increased dramatically as a consequence of the opening of the Iron Curtain. Still, the country is far from being as diverse as most other European nations, for example France or Germany, and the vast majority of the Czech population remains Caucasian. During communism, the few black people who lived here stuck out like a sore thumb. Nowadays, their number has of course increased, but the size of the black community is still quite small.