the BIG debate

Weekly discussion on hot topics Staff

Written by Staff Published on 27.07.2010 14:12:59 (updated on 27.07.2010) Reading time: 9 minutes is rolling out a brand new feature – the BIG debate. Each week we would like to discuss with you a topic related to life in the Czech Republic and exchange opinions and ideas. Each week, we´ll provide you with a brief introduction to the topic, discuss with you on Facebook and also provide with a summary of your ideas afterwards. If you have a topic you would like to suggest for coming weeks, let us know at


 This week’s topic

ODS (the Civic Democratic Party) won the municipal elections in 2006 with 54%; this past weekend, they received only 23% of the vote. TOP 09’s Zdeněk Tůma will become the mayor of Prague (replacing Pavel Bém), and many hope this will end  years of local corruption. Do you think the right people can bring about change, or is corruption in big cities simply inevitable?

Discuss with us at our Facebook page.

Read more about the elections here.



 Week 12/10 Topic

Do you think Prague is getting too expensive?

Prague, Czech capital has always been seen by people from other parts of the country as somewhat privileged place where salaries are incredibly high and, thus, life is good. Recent study shows that Prague expensive housing and services mean this stereotype ne……eds to be seriously adjusted. The higher prices are no longer compensated by higher salaries – since 2000, the income difference between the capital of the Czech Republic and the rest of the country has not grown.

Read more at: 

Summary of week 12/10 debate: Again a nice agreement among you folks – prices are definitely on the rise and life in Prague is getting increasingly expensive but it is still more affordable then i.e. London, Austria or New Zealand..


 Week 5/10 Topic

Mike Tyson is coming to Prague in 2 weeks. Violence, physical power, intimidation, stunning fall from the highest levels of success and fame..Tyson’s life is full of controversy. Some think he is a legend, some he is a lunatic, some both. What do you think? Legend or Lunatic? Share your thoughts at our Facebook page .

Also, we have a great prize for you this week – a signed Tyson glove. Make sure to include a video of Tyson’s best fight along with your post to enter the competition!

Summary of week 5/10 debate: Acoording to you, Mike Tyson is legend with lunatic, a true legend of the ring, looser, a legendary lunatic.. Controversion is Mike’s destiny..



Week 21/9 Topic

Will legalizing prostitution in Prague make the city safer by providing the right to police protection, employment and  health benefits for the sex workers, or will it only drive more sex tourism to Prague?

Prague considers legalizing prostitution. The City Council considered a bill to legalize prostitution last week and all parties agreed Prague should seek to regulate, license and tax sex workers. There are an estimated 70 active brothels in here, more than 30 of which are in the immediate vicinity of Wenceslas and Old Town squares, but authorities admit they have little grasp on the big picture.

What do you think? Share your opinion with others on our Facebook page.

Read more at:

Summary of week 21/9 debate: Andrew nicely sup it up by writing: “There’ll never be a total solution to the problem, but anything that moves towards protecting women (and children) and risk is to be applauded.” There is a serious concern of driving more sex tourists but, as pointed out by Pavel, it also means more $$$s coming in..


 Week 14/9 Topic 

Is marijuana the fast track to hard drugs?

Czech government decided to further decriminalize the cultivation and possession of marijuana 9 months ago. Recent reports stated that 22% of Czechs between the age of 16 and 34 smoke cannabis at least once a year (that percentage is higher than any other EU cou…ntry). Is this the way to go? Share your thoughts with us! or take a look at pragues cannabis blog

Summary of week 14/9 debate: Wow! All of us are in favor of marijuana! So according to our facebook friends marijuana is definitely not a fast track to harder drugs and legalizing is the way to go!


Week 7/9 Topic 

Do you support the project of a new building of the Czech National Library by Jan Kaplický? Is it appropriate for Letná Park or would it destroy the panorama?

In February 2007, Jan Kaplický, Czech-born British architect who died in early 2009, won the international architectural competition for the new building of the National Library of the Czech Republic in Prague. Kaplický’s futuristic design, dubbed “octopus” or “blob”, quickly created a huge political controversy (with influential opponents, including President Václav Klaus and Prague Mayor Pavel Bém) and was never realized.

The project may get a new chance now as it is backed by most of the political parties and by the new culture minister. Moreover, Eliška Kaplický, the widow of Jan Kaplický, has won significant British architect of Iraqi origin, Zaha Hadid, for cooperation on the project. Eliška Kaplický expects the library could get a chance thanks to the changes that may be expected at the Prague City Hall after the autumn local elections.

Do you think the project has a chance to be realized even after the death of Jan Kaplický? Do you think the design is appropriate for Letná park? Share your opinion with others on our Facebook page.

Summary of week 7/9 debate:

Most of you think that the library design by Kaplicky is not appropriate for Prague center but there are some of you who liken it to Dancing House and think this courageous architecture is exactly what Prague needs!


Week 31/8 Topic

Do you think that gun ownership should be banned in the Czech Republic following yesterday’s tragic shooting rampage in Bratislava?

A man opened fire in a Bratislava street yesterday, killing at least six people and wounding 13 before reportedly committing suicide. The man, evidently under the influence of alcohol, shot with a scatter-gun and a submachine gun at passers-by and at house windows in the street.

Legal gun ownership is allowed in the Czech Republic following psychological tests, a medical check-up and practical/theoretical shooting tests. Gun licences are valid for 5 years and then have to be renewed. Citizens have the option to carry a concealed weapon for protection of their property, their life and lives of others.

What do you think? Share your opinion with others on our Facebook page.

Summary of week 31/8 debate:

Gun ownership was a topic that divided you the most so far. There are some sport shooters among our community that believe acts of violence should be always attributed to the person who has committed the crime and not guns in general. Others would ban guns immidiately. What you guys agreed on though – there are other factors than gun ownership that cause crimes to occur. 



Last week’s 24/8 topic


The critics say the new smoking laws for pubs and restaurants (compulsory storefront sticker) merely maintain status quo. Do you agree or do you think that the number of smoke-free restaurants in Prague is likely to significantly increase? What are your thoughts?

Since 1st July 2010 pubs and restaurants in the Czech Republic have to choose one of the following three labels: smoking allowed, smoking prohibited, or mixed. The latter label is reserved for those establishment that have spaces for smokers and nonsmokers physically isolated. Many hope this will lead to incresing number of non-smoking pubs, other think this won’t have any practical effec.

Ironically, the new laws also gave smokers more rights at tram and bus stops. Currently, legislation outlaws smoking at all bus/tram stop areas, but after July 1, smokers will be allowed to smoke at open bus/tram stops or at open platforms but not in the enclosed shelters. Share your opinion with others at our Facebook page.

Summary of week 24/8 debate:

Most of you are not happy about the new anti-smoking laws and think it will change nothing. To put a sticker on the pub’s door is simply not enough of a change. Many of you also think that examples from abroad show that ban on smoking actually improved the atmosphere in the pubs. One could smell the food and taste the beer. A lot of work ahead for Czech politicians!



Week 17/8 Topic

 Given the state of the weather now, do you believe the CR is affected by global climate changes?

Deadly flash floods in north Bohemia Aug. 7-8 claimed at least four lives, with another person still missing. Recently, less serious flooding also occurred in the Plzeň, Pardubice and south Bohemia regions, as well as Vysočina, which stretches into south Moravia. Enormous hail stones littered the streets of Prague on Sunday night brought by a violent storm that lasted only 30 minutes. Do you think the weather these days validates researchers’ claims about global climate change? Or do you agree with Czech president Václav Klaus that climate change is not a reality? Share your thoughts with us on our Facebook page. 

Summary of week 17/8 debate: 
Most of you think global climate change is a fact but you disagree on what is causing it. Is it natural or is it the human activity?? And isn’t global climate change just more atractive for media than other problems directly and undeniably caused by humans? Why is that? Nice debate folks, thanks for sharing your ideas with us!


Week 10/8 Topic

Do you think there is still ridicule with non Czechs about owning a Škoda? 

According to recent Which? survey of some 64,000 car owners Škoda came top out of all the world’s car manufacturers for customer satisfaction, for build quality and after-sales service. It even beat out of sight the Audi brand, which is its stablemate in the VW group and which is meant to stand for the highest quality. Neil Lyndon adds: Not only are Škodas the best-built European cars and the best value for money but they are also top-notch to drive. The Octavia vRS is the most satisfying high performance saloon or estate you can buy for less than £35,000. The Yeti is the best of all “soft” off-roaders or urban 4x4s; and the new Superb estate is, for my money, the car of the year (read more in Telegraph article Škoda has the ast laugh). What do you think? Is there still ridicule about owning a Škoda?  Discuss with other expats on our Facebook page. 

Summary of week 10/8 debate: 
Thanks for the great debate. So you love Skoda, you hate Škoda, you think they’re ugly, you think they’re reliable. Most of you have owned one and think it is good value for money. We even heard some old jokes about Škoda so it seems there is still some ridicule about owning Škoda but they have come a long way.


Week 3/8 Topic

What is a better vacation spot: Czech Republic or neighboring countries? Home or away?

Czechs have been known for spending their vacation in the Czech Republic. The changing trend in favor of going abroad slowed down with the financial recession. Do you follow the Czech tradition or you prefer discovering new places in neighboring countries?  home ? or away ?

Summary of week 3/8 debate:

Thanks for the great discussion! The majority of you is breaking the Czech tradition of spending holidays at home or in Croatia.. You are planning to spend vacations abroad with warm and hearty smiles. Still, all of you love spending weekends in the CR!


Week 27/7 Topic:

The Czech Republic joined the European Union in 2004. How has Prague changed since then? Has the transition to becoming more modern come at the expense of losing its identity?

The Czech Republic joined the European Union in May 2004. Since then, Prague received more funds from the EU budget and became an even more attractive for tourists from all over world. Many residents welcome newly reconstructed buildings, international companies outsourcing their services to Prague, and popular chains and restaurants opening local branches. Others claim that Prague has lost its atmosphere and is becoming another faceless modern European city. What do you think? Discuss with other expats on our Facebook page. 

Summary of week 27/7 debate:
First week of the BIG debate was a great start for us, 28 comments on Facebook, exchange of ideas and interesting points on how is the CR benefiting from joining the EU. We will continue refining this new feature and hope to hear you all on Facebook !

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