Ansteckplakette mit dem Motiv „75. Jahrestag der Radio-Prag-Gründung“

Today in Mailbox: Radio Prague’s 75th anniversary, SoundCzech, earthquakes in West Bohemia, tax reforms in the Czech Republic, a comment on President Klaus’ statements. Listeners quoted: Nick Sharpe, Siegfried Rambaum, Bob Boundy, Caitlin Brown, David Eldridge, Frank Miata.

Hello and welcome to Mailbox.

Thank you very much for all the birthday wishes that still keep coming our way. Our long time listener Nick Sharpe from Great Britain sent us this message:

“Many congratulations on reaching your 75th anniversary today. I am really delighted that you were able to reach this milestone of seventy five years of broadcasting. I have been a Radio Prague listener since 1973 when you were broadcast very loudly on the 49 meter band as I recall as a schoolboy in those days.”

Thank you, Nick, and many thanks also to:

Noble Stanton West, Julie Brown, Maggie Maxwell, Steven Bell, Mike Terry, Rick Markley, Al Vybiral, Alan Roe, Prithwiraj Purkayastha, Richard Cooke and Colin Law among others who left us their birthday greetings on our Facebook page. (By the way, a special note to our listener Prithwiraj Purkayastha: we regret that your interview did not make it onto the air for technical reasons. We very much appreciate your taking the time to talk to us.)

Siegfried Rambaum included a question in his comment:

Antonín Dvořák’s New World Symphony
“By the way, I still remember the fanfare station ID jingle of olden days. What piece of music was that from?”

That fanfare you have in mind is the horn solo from Antonín Dvořák’s famous New World Symphony.

Inspired by the recent earthquake in West Bohemia, Bob Boundy from New Zealand wrote:

“First of all, congratulations on Radio Prague’s 75th anniversary. I listened to the special programme via the internet. I was very surprised to hear about the earthquakes in Nový Kostel. We are still having aftershocks down here in Christchurch since one year ago when our first big one of 7.1 hit on the 4th of September 2010. …So far we have had over 8000 aftershocks since September last year. I still enjoy listening via the internet and also Radio Prague’s news that comes by email. I still like hearing about what is going on in the Czech Republic.”

Our listener Caitlin Brown was among those who enquired about our archive Czech language programme, SoundCzech:

“I have been a fan of Radio Prague for a little over a year now, I don't know why it took me so long to catch on but I am glad that I did. I am e-mailing you rather late regarding your discontinued program SoundCzech, but I have missed it quite a bit and finally needed to send an e-mail.

“I am a librarian that has been studying Czech over the last year for my profession. While Sound Czech in no way replaces a class, I found that program (and I still listen to it and recommend it to my fellow students) to be a fun and informative addition to my study. While budget cuts and funding issues are things I am not unfamiliar with, I would urge you, if possible, to bring SoundCzech back. There is nothing else like it and nothing to replace it! Děkuji a na shledanou!”

I’m afraid there’s nothing we can do about SoundCzech. The programme was discontinued due to copyright restrictions and we miss is as much as you do. But if you go to Radio Prague’s archive, you’ll find nine years worth of Czech language programmes. We hope you’ll find those helpful, too.

Our faithful listener from England, David Eldridge, commented on the latest tax reforms in the Czech Republic:

“I am surprised no mention is made in your reports on the current tax reforms approved by the Czech parliament on the effect of moving taxation away from direct taxation to indirect taxation. Such a move always has the same effect, the rich get richer and people who have to work for a living get progressively left behind. The reform is designed to satisfy the demands of the rich and super-rich and there is not a jot of concern for the fate of the ordinary person. What do the Czech trades unions and Czech people say about this? Clearly the economist Radio Prague spoke to (25.08.2011) David Marek knew about this effect and was trying to pull the wool over our eyes about realities. He is clearly an economist who argues the case for the rich and super-rich only.”

Frank Miata from New York City who spent time in Prague writes:

“It's adorable to read that president Klaus has a sensitive side. I am sure that the Foreign Minister wasn't saying that the president could be seen as a clown on the world stage; the minister just implied it. We all should wait for WikiLeaks to release some more cables and see what the U.S. State Department has to say about it. After all, why would the Foreign Minister care that his subordinates were being lectured by someone whom they could not be openly disagreed with... not polite, not diplomatic? President Klaus looks like a bully who doesn't like it when someone of equal stature calls him to task for an obvious breach of bureaucratic protocol. Still, it's nice to see President Klaus has a sensitive side.”

Thank you very much for staying in touch with Radio Prague via e-mail and Facebook and please keep your comments coming. All that remains to be done now is repeat our monthly quiz question:

Our September mystery man is an award-winning Czech photographer. Born in 1938, he left Czechoslovakia in the aftermath of the Soviet occupation and in 1971 joined the Magnum Photos cooperative of photographers and photojournalists.

Please send us his name to by the end of September. Mailbox will be back again on the 1st of October. Until then, I’ll be looking forward to your e-mails and reception reports.