Eastern Europe's Model

Manila Bulletin, March 31, 2005 | Go to article overview

Eastern Europe's Model


Byline: Romeo V Pefianco

(Editors note: Among the first to lift Churchills "Iron Curtain" in East Central Europe in 1989 was Czechoslovakia, partitioned into two states in 1993. Czech Republic is the most progressive state noted in this article.)

PRAGUE, Czech Republic Its the temperature that bothers me, with a high of 10 degrees Celsius in the daytime (a lot colder than Baguios) to a low of 2 degrees at night or nearing the freezing point, against Manilas temperature range of 24 to 32 degrees Celsius this week.

Origin of Manilas Pale Pilsen

Southwest of this city (pop. 1.4 M) and about 100 km by car is the famous city of Pilsen (Pizen, pop. 172,000). Beer brewed here enjoyed a reputation far beyond Bohemia (eastern Czech) and probably gave Manilas Pale Pilsen the name known to most schoolchildren in RP.

The other well-known town is named Budweis (Ceske Budejovice) that gave the beer label Budweiser a worldwide market, especially in Europe, North America and the more progressive nations of Asia.

Landlocked highlands/plains

Czech Republic is landlocked and has borders with Germany (north and west), Poland (north), Slovakia (east), and Austria and Germany (south). Its three regions are Bohemia, Moravia, and Silesia. Its terrain is a mixture of highlands and plains traversed by the worlds beautiful waterways Elbe, Moldau, and streams fit for postcards.

The republics land area of 30,442 square miles (more than one-fourth of RPs size) is home to a population of 10.5 M. Prague is its largest and capital city, followed by Brno, Ostrava, Pilsen, and Olomoc. It is a developed and industrial country with a per capita GDP of $15,700.

Before the breakup of the Soviet Union in 1989, it was the bigger part of Czechoslovakia that was split into two successor states Czech and Slovak republics on January 1, 1993.

Rebellious past

The Czechs have a long history of rebellion, the most enduring and famous being that led by religious reformer Jan Hus (137-1415). Hus denounced a papal bull and attacked the sale of indulgences in Prague (remissions of punishments for sins, including those NOT yet committed.)

It was the period of the Great Schism when three church leaders claimed the papacy. Hus was excommunicated, condemned, and tried for heresy. …

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