Prague is finally looking to stick it to Old Town Square ham stand

After allegedly ripping off tourists for years, officials are finally looking to do something about the Old Prague Ham stand on Old Town Square.

Jason Pirodsky

Written by Jason Pirodsky Published on 24.06.2023 14:53:00 (updated on 14.07.2023) Reading time: 2 minutes

Prague officials are finally looking to do something about the Old Prague Ham stand that has been accused of ripping off tourists at Old Town Square for years. The City of Prague 1 has announced their intention to modify or terminate their contract with the foundation that leases the stand to its current operators.

The Old Prague Ham stand at Old Town Square has been accused by many of deceptive practices that include advertising a 100-gram price for ham and serving up unsuspecting tourists significantly more than they expected.

An Honest Guide video dedicated to the stand's practices has been seen by nearly three million people over the past eighteen months.

But the ham stand shouldn't really be there at all, the City of Prague 1 has revealed on social media. The city has contracted the area that the stand (and others) occupies to Nadací Pražské děti (Prague Children's Foundation), under the stipulation that it organizes social and cultural activities at the location.

Prague 1 receives a symbolic CZK 2,000 per day from the Prague Children's Foundation for this space. The foundation, meanwhile, turns around and leases out the space to various stands for (presumably) significantly more. According to city officials, the foundation is in violation of its contract, which specifies that the space is used for cultural activities.

"It must be clear to anyone who occasionally passes by that the reality is the exact opposite: sales activities are rarely complemented by cultural activities," Giancarlo Lamberti, chairman of the Prague 1 Financial Committee, writes on Facebook.

"These are not cultural activities that need to be subsidized by a low rent, nor is it a profitable rental relationship for the City of Prague 1."

Prague 1 will have the contract analyzed, and either modify or terminate it. But there's a catch: the notice period for terminating the contract is two years.

"The financial committee was given the task of analyzing the contractual relationship between Prague 1 and the Prague Children's Foundation, and subsequently submitting a proposal to terminate the lease agreement by agreement or to adopt other appropriate measures," says Lamberti.

"According to the contract, a two-year notice period applies. I take it as a clear and positive signal that the representatives have the will to solve the given situation."

While it might be a couple years before the city can say goodbye to the Old Prague Ham stand, it will give officials plenty of time to come up with a more appropriate use for the area at Old Town Square.

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