Czech Republic (EU-2004)
Introducing Czech Republic
The highest tier of local government in the Czech Republic are the thirteen regions (Czech: kraje, singular kraj) and the capital city of Prague.
Each region has its own elected Regional Assembly (krajské zastupitelstvo) and hejtman (usually translated as hetman or "president"). In Prague, their powers are executed by the city council and the mayor.
The regions are divided into seventy-six districts (okresy, singular okres) including three "statutory cities" (without Prague, which had special status). The districts lost most of their importance in 1999 in an administrative reform; they remain as territorial divisions and seats of various branches of state administration.
A further reform in effect since January 2003 created 204 Municipalities with Extended Competence (obce s rozšířenou působností; also obce III. stupně – third-level municipalities, unofficially also called "little districts" (Czech: 'malé okresy') which took over most of the administration of the former district authorities. Some of these are further divided between Municipalities with Commissioned Local Authority (obce s pověřeným obecním úřadem, shortened to pověřená obec, pl. pověřené obce; "second-level municipalities"). In 2007 the borders of the districts were slightly adjusted and 119 municipalities are now within different districts.
Hills and mountains cover about 95% of the country – ideal for skiing, mountain biking and hill walking. Wild boar and foxes are found in the abundant woodlands
The Czech capital, Prague, is more than 1 000 years old and has a wealth of historic architecture of different styles. Because of this, the city has become a favoured location for many international film makers.
The Czech Republic became an independent state in January 1993 after Czechoslovakia split into its two constituent parts. Before World War II, Czechoslovakia was one of the 10 most industrialised states in the world, and the only central European country to remain a democracy until 1938.
The Czech Republic produces world-famous beer, including Pilsner. Wine is produced in the southern regions of Moravia and in part of Bohemia. A record 900 natural springs have also ensured that the country produces plenty of mineral water. Traditional dishes include “ knedlíky ”, a type of dumpling made from potatoes or bread.
Manufacturing is still a major economic activity, especially the production of automobiles, machine tools, and engineering products. Iron and steel industries are important in Moravia in the east of the country. The chief crops are maize, sugar beet, potatoes, wheat, barley, and rye.
Famous Czechs include the Art Nouveau artist Alfons Mucha, composers Antonin Dvorák and Bedrich Smetana, marathon runner Emil Zátopek and the writers Franz Kafka and Milan Kundera.
This weather map is meant to give you an understanding of the difficult conditions under which many abandoned, homeless and neglected animals are forced to live in - many die of heat stroke, dehydration or freezing temperatures in Europe.