COUNTRIES

CZECH REPUBLIC

Programs Offered

Prague: Anglo American University

A few facts about the country:

OFFICIAL NAME: Czech Republic

GOVERNMENT TYPE: Parliamentary republic

PRESIDENT: Vaclav Klaus

PRIME MINISTER: Mirek Topolanek

POPULATION: 10 Million

LOCATION: Eastern Europe, Poland to the northeast, Germany to the west, Austria to the south and Slovakia to the east.

TERRAIN AND CLIMATE: Temperate. Cool to warm May-September (showers a and thunderstorms common), mostly chilly October, March and April (rain or snow possible), cold, cloudy and wet with snow and freezing temperatures November-February; skiing December-March

OFFICIAL LANGUAGE: Czech

GENERAL HISTORY: Following the Battle of Mohács, the Czech lands fell under Habsburg rule from 1526, later becoming part of the Austrian Empire and Austria–Hungary. The independent Republic of Czechoslovakia was formed in 1918, following the collapse of the Austro-Hungarian Empire after World War I. After the Munich Agreement, German occupation of Czechoslovakia and the consequent disillusion with the Western response and gratitude for the liberation of the major portion of Czechoslovakia by the Red Army, the Communist party won plurality (38%)in the 1946 elections. In a 1948 coup d'état, Czechoslovakia became a communist-ruled state. In 1968, the increasing dissatisfaction culminated in attempts to reform the communist regime. The events, known as the Prague Spring of 1968, ended with an invasion by the armies of the Warsaw Pact countries (with the exception of Romania) and the troops remained in the country until the overturn in 1989 by the Velvet Revolution, when the communist regime collapsed. On January 1, 1993, Czechoslovakia peacefully dissolved into its constituent states, the Czech Republic and Slovakia.

ECONOMY: The Czech Republic made economic reforms, such as fast privatizations and flat taxes. Annual gross domestic product growth has recently been around 6%. The country is the first former member of the Comecon to achieve the status of a developed country (2006), according to the World Bank. The Czech Republic also ranks best, compared to the former Comecon countries in the Human Development Index.

SAFETY AND SECURITY: Czech Republic is a fairly safe country with a low rate of violent crimes. However it has a very high rate of pick pocketing and car theft. In Prague, the taxi drivers are known to take advantage of tourists and treat them very poorly