Czech Republic

Introduction Following the First World War, the closely related Czechs and Slovaks of the former Austro-Hungarian Empire merged to form Czechoslovakia. During the interwar years, the new country's leaders were frequently preoccupied with meeting the demands of other ethnic minorities within the republic, most notably the Sudeten Germans and the Ruthenians (Ukrainians). After World War II, a truncated Czechoslovakia fell within the Soviet sphere of influence. In 1968, an invasion by Warsaw Pact troops ended the efforts of the country's leaders to liberalize Communist party rule and create "socialism with a human face." Anti-Soviet demonstrations the following year ushered in a period of harsh repression. With the collapse of Soviet authority in 1989, Czechoslovakia regained its freedom through a peaceful "Velvet Revolution." On 1 January 1993, the country underwent a "velvet divorce" into its two national components, the Czech Republic and Slovakia. The Czech Republic joined NATO in 1999 and the European Union in 2004.
History

Archaeologists have found evidence of prehistoric human settlement in the area dating back to the Neolithic era. In the classical era, from the 3rd century BC Celtic migrations, the Boii (see Bohemia) and later in the 1st century Germanic tribes of Marcomanni and Quadi settled there. During the Migration Period around the 5th century, many Germanic tribes moved westwards and southwards out of Central Europe. In an equally significant migration, Slavic people from the Black Sea and Carpathian regions settled in the area (a movement that was also stimulated by the onslaught of peoples from Siberia and Eastern Europe: Huns, Avars, Bulgars and Magyars). Following in the Germans' wake, they moved southwards into Bohemia, Moravia, and some of present day Austria. During the 7th century the Frankish merchant Samo, supporting the Slavs fighting their Avar rulers, became the ruler of the first known Slav state in Central Europe. The Moravian principality arose in the 8th century (see Great Moravia).

The Bohemian or Czech state emerged in the late 9th century when it was unified by the Přemyslid dynasty. The kingdom of Bohemia was a significant regional power during the Middle Ages. It was part of the Holy Roman Empire during the entire existence of this confederation.

Religious conflicts such as the 15th century Hussite Wars and the 17th century Thirty Years' War had a devastating effect on the local population. From the 16th century, Bohemia came increasingly under Habsburg control as the Habsburgs became first the elected and then hereditary rulers of Bohemia. After the fall of the Holy Roman Empire, Bohemia became part of Austrian Empire and later of Austria-Hungary.

Following the collapse of the Austro-Hungarian Empire after World War I, the independent republic of Czechoslovakia was created in 1918. This new country incorporated regions of Bohemia, Moravia, Silesia, Slovakia and Carpathian Ruthenia (known as Subcarpathian Rus at the time) with significant German, Hungarian, Polish and Ruthenian speaking minorities.[3] Although Czechoslovakia was a unitary state, it provided what was at the time rather extensive rights to its minorities. However, it did not grant its minorities any territorial political autonomy, which resulted in discontent and strong support among some of the minorities to break away from Czechoslovakia. Adolf Hitler used the opportunity and, supported by Konrad Henlein's Sudeten German National Socialist Party, gained the largely German speaking Sudetenland through the 1938 Munich Agreement. Poland occupied Polish inhabited areas around Český Těšín. Hungary gained parts of Slovakia and Subcarpathian Rus as a result of the First Vienna Award in November 1938.

Slovakia and Subcarpathian Rus gained greater autonomy, with the state renamed to "Czecho-Slovakia" (The Second Republic; see Occupation of Czechoslovakia). Slovakia seceded in March 1939 and allied itself with Hitler's coalition. The remaining Czech territory was occupied by Germany, transformed it into the so-called Protectorate of Bohemia and Moravia. The Protectorate was proclaimed part of the Third Reich, and President and Prime Minister were subordinate to the Nazi Reichsprotektor ("imperial protector"). Subcarpathian Rus declared independence as the Republic of Carpatho-Ukraine on 15 March 1939 but was invaded by Hungary the same day and formally annexed on 16 March. Approximately 390,000 Czechoslovak citizens, including 83,000 Jews, were killed or executed, and hundreds of thousands of others were sent to prisons and concentration camps or as forced labour. A Nazi concentration camp existed at Terezin to the north of Prague. There was Czech resistance to Nazi occupation both home and abroad, most notably with the assassination of leading Nazi leader Reinhard Heydrich in Prague suburbs on May 27, 1942. The Czechoslovak government-in-exile and its army fighting against the Germans were acknowledged by Allies (Czechoslovak troops fought in Great Britain, North Africa, Middle East and Soviet Union). The occupation ended on 9 May 1945 with the arrival of Soviet and American armies and the Prague uprising.

In 1945-46 almost the entire German minority of Czechoslovakia, about 2.7 million people, were expelled to Germany and Austria. During this time, thousands of Germans were held in prisons, detention camps, and used as forced labour. In the summer of 1945, there were several massacres. Only 250,000 Germans who had been active in the resistance against the Nazis or were necessary for the economy were not expelled, though many of them emigrated later. Following a Soviet-organised referendum, the Subcarpathian Rus has never returned under Czechoslovak rule and became part of the Ukrainian SSR, as the Zakarpattia Oblast in 1946.

Czechoslovakia uneasily tried to play the role of a "bridge" between the West and East. However, the Communist Party of Czechoslovakia rapidly increased in popularity, particularly because of a general disappointment with the West (due to the pre-war Munich Agreement) and a favourable popular attitude towards the Soviet Union (due to the Soviets' role in liberating Czechoslovakia from German rule). In the 1946 elections, with 38% of the votes, the Communists became the largest party in the Czechoslovak parliament. They formed a coalition government with other parties of the National Front, and moved quickly to consolidate power. The decisive step took place in February 1948. During a series of events characterized by Communists as a "revolution" and by anti-Communists as a "takeover", the Communist People's Militias secured control of key locations in Prague, and a new, all-Communist government was formed.

For the next forty-one years, Czechoslovakia was a Communist state within the eastern bloc (see Czechoslovakia: 1948-1989). This period was marked by a variety of social developments. The Communist government completely nationalized the means of production and established a command economy. The economy grew rapidly during the 1950s and 1960s, but slowed down in the 1970s with increasing problems during the 1980s. The political climate was highly repressive during the 1950s (including numerous show trials), but became more open and tolerant in the 1960s, culminating in Alexander Dubček's leadership in the 1968 Prague Spring that tried to create "socialism with a human face" and perhaps even introduce political pluralism. This was forcibly ended by 21 August 1968 Warsaw Pact invasion. From then until 1989, the political establishment returned to censorship of opposition, though using more "carrot" than "whip" policy to ensure the populace's passivity.

In November 1989, Czechoslovakia returned to democracy through a peaceful "Velvet Revolution". However, Slovak national aspirations strengthened until on January 1, 1993, the country peacefully split into the independent Czech Republic and Slovakia. Both countries went through economic reforms and privatisations, with the intention of creating a market economy.

From 1991 the Czech Republic (originally as part of Czechoslovakia, and now in its own right) has been a member of the Visegrad Group and from 1995 of the OECD. The Czech Republic joined NATO on March 12, 1999 and the European Union on May 1, 2004.

Geography Location: Central Europe, southeast of Germany
Geographic coordinates: 49 45 N, 15 30 E
Map references: Europe
Area: total: 78,866 sq km
land: 77,276 sq km
water: 1,590 sq km
Area - comparative: slightly smaller than South Carolina
Land boundaries: total: 2,290.2 km
border countries: Austria 466.3 km, Germany 810.3 km, Poland 761.8 km, Slovakia 251.8 km
Coastline: 0 km (landlocked)
Maritime claims: none (landlocked)
Climate: temperate; cool summers; cold, cloudy, humid winters
Terrain: Bohemia in the west consists of rolling plains, hills, and plateaus surrounded by low mountains; Moravia in the east consists of very hilly country
Elevation extremes: lowest point: Elbe River 115 m
highest point: Snezka 1,602 m
Natural resources: hard coal, soft coal, kaolin, clay, graphite, timber
Land use: arable land: 38.82%
permanent crops: 3%
other: 58.18% (2005)
Irrigated land: 240 sq km (2003)
Total renewable water resources: 16 cu km (2005)
Freshwater withdrawal (domestic/industrial/agricultural): total: 1.91 cu km/yr (41%/57%/2%)
per capita: 187 cu m/yr (2002)
Natural hazards: flooding
Environment - current issues: air and water pollution in areas of northwest Bohemia and in northern Moravia around Ostrava present health risks; acid rain damaging forests; efforts to bring industry up to EU code should improve domestic pollution
Environment - international agreements: party to: Air Pollution, Air Pollution-Nitrogen Oxides, Air Pollution-Persistent Organic Pollutants, Air Pollution-Sulfur 85, Air Pollution-Sulfur 94, Air Pollution-Volatile Organic Compounds, Antarctic-Environmental Protocol, Antarctic Treaty, Biodiversity, Climate Change, Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol, Desertification, Endangered Species, Environmental Modification, Hazardous Wastes, Law of the Sea, Ozone Layer Protection, Ship Pollution, Wetlands, Whaling
signed, but not ratified: none of the selected agreements
Geography - note: landlocked; strategically located astride some of oldest and most significant land routes in Europe; Moravian Gate is a traditional military corridor between the North European Plain and the Danube in central Europe
Politics

Political system

The Czech Republic is a pluralist multi-party parliamentary representative democracy, where the Prime Minister is the head of government. The Parliament is bicameral, with the Chamber of Deputies (Czech: Poslanecká sněmovna)(200 members) and the Senate(81 members).

Armed forces
Main article: Military of the Czech Republic

The Czech armed forces consist of the Army and Air Force and of specialized support units. In 2004, the Czech armed forces completely phased out conscription and transformed into a fully professional army and air force. The country has been a member of NATO since March 12, 1999. Defence spending is around 1.8% of GDP (2006).

People Population: 10,228,744 (July 2007 est.)
Age structure: 0-14 years: 14.1% (male 738,391/female 698,999)
15-64 years: 71.2% (male 3,657,877/female 3,627,493)
65 years and over: 14.7% (male 588,531/female 917,453) (2007 est.)
Median age: total: 39.5 years
male: 37.9 years
female: 41.3 years (2007 est.)
Population growth rate: -0.071% (2007 est.)
Birth rate: 8.96 births/1,000 population (2007 est.)
Death rate: 10.64 deaths/1,000 population (2007 est.)
Net migration rate: 0.97 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2007 est.)
Sex ratio: at birth: 1.06 male(s)/female
under 15 years: 1.056 male(s)/female
15-64 years: 1.008 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 0.641 male(s)/female
total population: 0.951 male(s)/female (2007 est.)
Infant mortality rate: total: 3.86 deaths/1,000 live births
male: 4.21 deaths/1,000 live births
female: 3.49 deaths/1,000 live births (2007 est.)
Life expectancy at birth: total population: 76.42 years
male: 73.14 years
female: 79.88 years (2007 est.)
Total fertility rate: 1.22 children born/woman (2007 est.)
HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate: less than 0.1% (2001 est.)
HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDS: 2,500 (2001 est.)
HIV/AIDS - deaths: less than 10 (2001 est.)
Nationality: noun: Czech(s)
adjective: Czech
Ethnic groups: Czech 90.4%, Moravian 3.7%, Slovak 1.9%, other 4% (2001 census)
Religions: Roman Catholic 26.8%, Protestant 2.1%, other 3.3%, unspecified 8.8%, unaffiliated 59% (2001 census)
Languages: Czech 94.9%, Slovak 2%, other 2.3%, unidentified 0.8% (2001 census)
Literacy: definition: NA
total population: 99%
male: 99%
female: 99% (2003 est.)
Government Country name: conventional long form: Czech Republic
conventional short form: Czech Republic
local long form: Ceska Republika
local short form: Cesko
Government type: parliamentary democracy
Capital: name: Prague
geographic coordinates: 50 05 N, 14 28 E
time difference: UTC+1 (6 hours ahead of Washington, DC during Standard Time)
daylight saving time: +1hr, begins last Sunday in March; ends last Sunday in October
Administrative divisions: 13 regions (kraje, singular - kraj) and 1 capital city* (hlavni mesto); Jihocesky Kraj, Jihomoravsky Kraj, Karlovarsky Kraj, Kralovehradecky Kraj, Liberecky Kraj, Moravskoslezsky Kraj, Olomoucky Kraj, Pardubicky Kraj, Plzensky Kraj, Praha (Prague)*, Stredocesky Kraj, Ustecky Kraj, Vysocina, Zlinsky Kraj
Independence: 1 January 1993 (Czechoslovakia split into the Czech Republic and Slovakia)
National holiday: Czech Founding Day, 28 October (1918)
Constitution: ratified 16 December 1992, effective 1 January 1993
Legal system: civil law system based on Austro-Hungarian codes; has not accepted compulsory ICJ jurisdiction; legal code modified to bring it in line with Organization on Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) obligations and to expunge Marxist-Leninist legal theory
Suffrage: 18 years of age; universal
Executive branch: chief of state: President Vaclav KLAUS (since 7 March 2003)
head of government: Prime Minister Mirek TOPOLANEK (since 9 January 2007); Deputy Prime Ministers Petr NECAS (since 9 January 2007), Martin BURSIK (since 9 January 2007), and Alexandr VONDRA (since 9 January 2007)
cabinet: Cabinet appointed by the president on the recommendation of the prime minister
elections: president elected by Parliament for a five-year term (eligible for a second term); last successful election held 15 February 2008 (after earlier elections held 8 and 9 February 2008 were inconclusive; next election to be held in February 2013); prime minister appointed by the president
election results: Vaclav KLAUS reelected president on 15 February 2008; Vaclav KLAUS 141 votes, Jan SVEJNAR 111 votes (third round; combined votes of both chambers of parliament)
Legislative branch: bicameral Parliament or Parlament consists of the Senate or Senat (81 seats; members are elected by popular vote to serve six-year terms; one-third elected every two years) and the Chamber of Deputies or Poslanecka Snemovna (200 seats; members are elected by popular vote to serve four-year terms)
elections: Senate - last held in two rounds 20-21 and 27-28 October 2006 (next to be held in October 2008); Chamber of Deputies - last held 2-3 June 2006 (next to be held by June 2010)
election results: Senate - percent of vote by party - NA; seats by party - ODS 41, CSSD 12, KDU-CSL 11, others 15, independents 2; Chamber of Deputies - percent of vote by party - ODS 35.4%, CSSD 32.3%, KSCM 12.8%, KDU-CSL 7.2%, Greens 6.3%, other 6%; seats by party - ODS 81, CSSD 74, KSCM 26, KDU-CSL 13, Greens 6; note - seats by party as of December 2007 - ODS 81, CSSD 72, KSCM 26, KDU-CSL 13, Greens 6, unaffiliated 2 (former CSSD members)
Judicial branch: Supreme Court; Constitutional Court; chairman and deputy chairmen are appointed by the president for a 10-year term
Political parties and leaders: Association of Independent Candidates-European Democrats or SNK-ED [Helmut DOHNALEK]; Christian Democratic Union-Czechoslovak People's Party or KDU-CSL [Jiri CUNEK]; Civic Democratic Party or ODS [Mirek TOPOLANEK]; Communist Party of Bohemia and Moravia or KSCM [Vojtech FILIP]; Czech Social Democratic Party or CSSD [Jiri PAROUBEK]; Union of Freedom-Democratic Union or US-DEU [Jan CERNY]; Green Party [Martin BURSIK]; Independent Democrats (NEZDEM) [Vladimir ZELEZNY]; Party of Open Society (SOS) [Pavel NOVACEK]; Path of Change [Jiri LOBKOWITZ]
Political pressure groups and leaders: Czech-Moravian Confederation of Trade Unions or CMKOS [Milan STECH]
International organization participation: ACCT (observer), Australia Group, BIS, BSEC (observer), CE, CEI, CERN, EAPC, EBRD, EIB, ESA (cooperating state), EU, FAO, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO, ICC, ICCt (signatory), ICRM, IDA, IEA, IFC, IFRCS, ILO, IMF, IMO, IMSO, Interpol, IOC, IOM, IPU, ISO, ITSO, ITU, ITUC, MIGA, NAM (guest), NATO, NEA, NSG, OAS (observer), OECD, OIF (observer), OPCW, OSCE, PCA, Schengen Convention, UN, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNIDO, UNMEE, UNMIL, UNOMIG, UNWTO, UPU, WCL, WCO, WEU (associate), WFTU, WHO, WIPO, WMO, WTO, ZC
Diplomatic representation in the US: chief of mission: Ambassador Petr KOLAR
chancery: 3900 Spring of Freedom Street NW, Washington, DC 20008
telephone: [1] (202) 274-9100
FAX: [1] (202) 966-8540
consulate(s) general: Chicago, Los Angeles, New York
Diplomatic representation from the US: chief of mission: Ambassador Richard W. GRABER
embassy: Trziste 15, 11801 Prague 1
mailing address: use embassy street address
telephone: [420] 257 022 000
FAX: [420] 257 022 809
Flag description: two equal horizontal bands of white (top) and red with a blue isosceles triangle based on the hoist side
note: identical to the flag of the former Czechoslovakia
Culture

The Czechs celebrate Christmas every year, beginning with a dinner on December 24. The tables for this dinner can only be set for an even number of guests, because an odd number will bring bad luck. All of the lights in the house must be turned off until the first star comes out, and when it does, the dinner may commence. The first person to leave the table when the meal is finnished will be the first person to die that year- this is why everyone must stand up at the same time.

Easter, or "Velikonoce", meaning "great nights", is a very cheerful and lighthearted holiday in the Czech Republic. Red is a very commonly worn color during this time, because it symbolizes joy, health, happiness, and new life that comes with spring. Families elaborately decorate Easter eggs together, and a nationwide Easter egg contest is held in Prague and other Czech cities on Easter. Another Easter tradition is the whipping of one's legs with the pomlázka, or pussywillow twigs. Pussywillow twigs are braided and painted with bright colors and then are used by young boys to beat the back of girls legs. This longstanding tradition is thought to bring health and youth to young girls.

Another annual Czech custom is the "Burning of the Witches" (paleni carodejnic), which takes place on the evening of April 30. Huge bonfires are built on the hills in the more rural areas of the Czech Republic and everyone stays out late watching them burn. This stems from an ancient pagan tradition which was thought to symbolize and end to winter and a welcoming to the spring.

Food
Main article Czech cuisine

A Czech diet usually consists of a lot of meat such as pork, beef, poultry, and a lot of organ meats like liver, kidneys and brains. The meat is frequently prepared with gravy and then eaten with dumplings or potatoes. Vegetables are consumed daily, like carrots, peas, and cabbage. They also really enjoy their sweets such as fruit dumplings, buchty (buns filled with jam), kolace (small poppy seed cakes), and apple strudel.

Customs

- Sitting in pubs and drinking lots of Czech beer such as Staropramen, Budvar and Gambrinus. - Czech people like to have lots of barbecues in the summer. - pointing with the index finger is rude - always take shoes off when entering a house (guests are offered "pantofle" which are house slippers) - in some parts of the Czech Republic, men do not cross their ankles over the knee

Music

Music is the most popular form of art in the Czech Republic and there is even a saying, "Co Cech, to muzikant", which means "Every Czech is a musician".

Economy Economy - overview: The Czech Republic is one of the most stable and prosperous of the post-Communist states of Central and Eastern Europe. Growth in 2000-07 was supported by exports to the EU, primarily to Germany, and a strong recovery of foreign and domestic investment. Domestic demand is playing an ever more important role in underpinning growth as the availability of credit cards and mortgages increases. The current account deficit has declined to around 3.3% of GDP as demand for automotive and other products from the Czech Republic remains strong in the European Union. Rising inflation from higher food and energy prices are a risk to balanced economic growth. Significant increases in social spending in the run-up to June 2006 elections prevented, the government from meeting its goal of reducing its budget deficit to 3% of GDP in 2007. Negotiations on pension and additional healthcare reforms are continuing without clear prospects for agreement and implementation. Intensified restructuring among large enterprises, improvements in the financial sector, and effective use of available EU funds should strengthen output growth. The pro-business Civic Democratic Party-led government approved reforms in 2007 designed to cut spending on some social welfare benefits and reform the tax system with the aim of eventually reducing the budget deficit to 2.3% of GDP by 2010. Parliamentary approval for any additional reforms could prove difficult, however, because of the parliament's even split. The government withdrew a 2010 target date for euro adoption and instead aims to meet the eurozone criteria around 2012.
GDP (purchasing power parity): $249.1 billion (2007 est.)
GDP (official exchange rate): $168.1 billion (2007 est.)
GDP - real growth rate: 5.7% (2007 est.)
GDP - per capita (PPP): $24,400 (2007 est.)
GDP - composition by sector: agriculture: 2.4%
industry: 39.7%
services: 57.9% (2007 est.)
Labor force: 5.35 million (2007 est.)
Labor force - by occupation: agriculture: 4.1%
industry: 37.6%
services: 58.3% (2003)
Unemployment rate: 6.6% (2007 est.)
Population below poverty line: NA%
Household income or consumption by percentage share: lowest 10%: 4.3%
highest 10%: 22.4% (1996)
Distribution of family income - Gini index: 26 (2005)
Inflation rate (consumer prices): 2.6% (2007 est.)
Investment (gross fixed): 25.8% of GDP (2007 est.)
Budget: revenues: $69.49 billion
expenditures: $75.8 billion (2007 est.)
Public debt: 31.1% of GDP (2007 est.)
Agriculture - products: wheat, potatoes, sugar beets, hops, fruit; pigs, poultry
Industries: metallurgy, machinery and equipment, motor vehicles, glass, armaments
Industrial production growth rate: 9% (2007 est.)
Electricity - production: 77.38 billion kWh (2005)
Electricity - production by source: fossil fuel: 76.1%
hydro: 2.9%
nuclear: 20%
other: 1% (2001)
Electricity - consumption: 59.72 billion kWh (2005)
Electricity - exports: 24.99 billion kWh (2005)
Electricity - imports: 12.35 billion kWh (2005)
Oil - production: 18,030 bbl/day (2005)
Oil - consumption: 213,000 bbl/day (2005 est.)
Oil - exports: 20,930 bbl/day (2004)
Oil - imports: 203,700 bbl/day (2004)
Oil - proved reserves: 15 million bbl (1 January 2006 est.)
Natural gas - production: 165 million cu m (2005 est.)
Natural gas - consumption: 9.076 billion cu m (2005 est.)
Natural gas - exports: 81.52 million cu m (2005 est.)
Natural gas - imports: 8.976 billion cu m (2005)
Natural gas - proved reserves: 3.802 billion cu m (1 January 2006 est.)
Current account balance: -$5.701 billion (2007 est.)
Exports: $113 billion f.o.b. (2007 est.)
Exports - commodities: machinery and transport equipment 52%, chemicals 5%, raw materials and fuel 9% (2003)
Exports - partners: Germany 32%, Slovakia 8.5%, Poland 5.7%, France 5.5%, Austria 5.1%, UK 4.8%, Italy 4.6% (2006)
Imports: $109.8 billion f.o.b. (2007 est.)
Imports - commodities: machinery and transport equipment 46%, raw materials and fuels 15%, chemicals 10% (2003)
Imports - partners: Germany 32.5%, Netherlands 6.8%, Slovakia 6.2%, Poland 6.1%, Russia 5.7%, Austria 5%, Italy 4.4%, France 4.3% (2006)
Economic aid - recipient: $278.7 million in available EU structural adjustment and cohesion funds (2004)
Reserves of foreign exchange and gold: $32.32 billion (31 December 2007 est.)
Debt - external: $61.74 billion (30 June 2007)
Stock of direct foreign investment - at home: $77.46 billion (2006 est.)
Stock of direct foreign investment - abroad: $5.058 billion (2006 est.)
Market value of publicly traded shares: $48.6 billion (2006)
Currency (code): Czech koruna (CZK)
Currency code: CZK
Exchange rates: koruny per US dollar - 20.53 (2007), 22.596 (2006), 23.957 (2005), 25.7 (2004), 28.209 (2003)
Fiscal year: calendar year
Communications Telephones - main lines in use: 3,217,300 (2005)
Telephones - mobile cellular: 12.15 million (2006)
Telephone system: general assessment: privatization and modernization of the Czech telecommunication system got a late start but is advancing steadily; access to the fixed-line telephone network expanded throughout the 1990s; mobile telephone usage increased sharply beginning in the mid-1990s and there are now about 120 mobile telephones per 100 persons
domestic: 93% of exchanges now digital; existing copper subscriber systems enhanced with Asymmetric Digital Subscriber Line (ADSL) equipment to accommodate Internet and other digital signals; trunk systems include fiber-optic cable and microwave radio relay
international: country code - 420; satellite earth stations - 2 Intersputnik (Atlantic and Indian Ocean regions), 1 Intelsat, 1 Eutelsat, 1 Inmarsat, 1 Globalstar (2007)
Radio broadcast stations: AM 31, FM 304, shortwave 17 (2000)
Radios: 3,159,134 (December 2000)
Television broadcast stations: 150 (plus 1,434 repeaters) (2000)
Televisions: 3,405,834 (December 2000)
Internet country code: .cz
Internet hosts: 1.668 million (2007)
Internet Service Providers (ISPs): more than 300 (2000)
Internet users: 3.541 million (2006)
Transportation Airports: 122 (2007)
Airports - with paved runways: total: 45
over 3,047 m: 2
2,438 to 3,047 m: 10
1,524 to 2,437 m: 13
914 to 1,523 m: 2
under 914 m: 18 (2007)
Airports - with unpaved runways: total: 77
1,524 to 2,437 m: 1
914 to 1,523 m: 26
under 914 m: 50 (2007)
Heliports: 1 (2007)
Pipelines: gas 7,010 km; oil 547 km; refined products 94 km (2007)
Railways: total: 9,597 km
standard gauge: 9,597 km 1.435-m gauge (3,041 km electrified) (2006)
Roadways: total: 127,865 km
paved: 127,865 km (includes 633 km of expressways) (2006)
Waterways: 664 km (principally on Elbe, Vltava, Oder, and other navigable rivers, lakes, and canals) (2006)
Merchant marine: registered in other countries: 1 (St Vincent and The Grenadines 1) (2007)
Ports and terminals: Decin, Prague, Usti nad Labem
Military Military branches: Army of the Czech Republic (ACR): Joint Forces Command (includes Army and Air Forces), Support and Training Forces Command (2007)
Military service age and obligation: 18-50 years of age for voluntary military service (2005)
Manpower available for military service: males age 18-49: 2,414,728
females age 18-49: 2,329,412 (2005 est.)
Manpower fit for military service: males age 18-49: 1,996,631
females age 18-49: 1,923,508 (2005 est.)
Manpower reaching military service age annually: males age 18-49: 66,583
females age 18-49: 63,363 (2005 est.)
Military expenditures - percent of GDP: 1.46% (2007 est.)
Transnational Issues Disputes - international: in 2006, Austrian public protests for the Czech Republic to close the Temelin nuclear power plant resulted in an Austrian parliamentary motion threatening international legal action
Illicit drugs: transshipment point for Southwest Asian heroin and minor transit point for Latin American cocaine to Western Europe; producer of synthetic drugs for local and regional markets; susceptible to money laundering related to drug trafficking, organized crime; significant consumer of ecstasy