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The Czech Republic traditionally has good ties to its western neighbors. Originally part of the Habsburg Empire, it played an important role (to be exact, the starting point) in the Thirty years War of the mid-seventeenth century. In the Habsburg Empire, the areas now comprising the Czech Republic (Moravia and Bohemia) had their own king. Even then, the Czech people showed a trait that still prevails in modem times: the will to independence.

During the Communist regime, Prague remained a centre of independent thought In the Prague Spring of 1968, thousands demonstrated for reforms. But the time wasn't ripe, and the uprising was quelled in short order. Ironically, the tanks and guns needed to do this (adaptions of Soviet equipment) were made in Czechoslovakia itself.

Independence didn't save tie Czechs from being bought up by their western neighbors. The fall of the communists brought a wave of German and Austrian investors. Once again counting on their connections to Prague, they flooded the county, building facilities en-masse. The Crash of '94 put a damper on that.

Aside from the general difficulties endured, it gave the Czechs time to establish their own economy. Funny as it may sound, the Crash saved them from total assimilation.

The high-tech equipment already installed gave the Czech Republic a running start into the next century. Of all Central European states, the CR is the one with the most chances to enter the big league. Of course, some people feared the rise of a middle-European "Little Tiger' This would endanger the ECS hegemony and maybe even unite the Central European states against their common...trade partner. Therefore, the EC is working hard to keep the CR under control, while Czechs themselves feverishly consolidate as much economic power as possible.[1]

General Skroup[]

Easies in Brussles swallowed hard when word of new economic powers drifted in from the Far East PacRim nations long under the economic dominion of Japan, the U.S. and the USSR, suddenly demanded a market share in the world of the future.

When the Iron Curtain fell, nations that had been under communist rule for forty years threatened to do just the same. To counter this, the EC immediately moved to make the new markets eurotrade-dependent In most cases, the Easies were successful. Soon, EC imports, especially from Germany, amounted to more than 40% of the whole.

Then came the Crash of '94. Western Europe, reeling from economic turbulence, lost control for a short time. The Czech Republic, favorite child of German investors, took its resources and looked east for profit Czech politicians had long seen economic dependence on the EC as a thom in their side, and sought allies to counter EC-influence. Though most NCE-countries were still on the edge of poverty, the Czechs found friends, and a Central European Trade Partnership was planned. These plans haven't advanced yet, thanks to EC pressures. But possibility is there.

The Easies were alarmed by their child gone bad. The problem was the Czech parliament Too many powers to deal with, and rising anti-EC sentiment in the populace made manipulation difficult The solution was simple: install an EC-friendly dictator by whatever means possible. Since this was Europe, after all, classic insurgency could not be used. Thus, they sought friends in high places.

General Skroup—long known as power-hungry and determined to unify Europe against "Far-Eastern threats"—proved to be the ideal Easie dupe. People from Brussles initiated secret talks, promising him that a united Europe could only become reality through the EC Meanwhile, they infiltrated large organizations, instigating unrest and disorder. The chaotic political atmosphere made it possible for Skroup to take advantage of the parliament and invade Poland in late 2018. This act shook the Republic, bringing Czech bust in their government to an all-time low, while eliminating Poland as a potential ally.

Currently, public sentiment is calling for a strong man to take charge—which is exactly what the Easies were hoping for.[1]

Government[]

The parliament is a hotbed of lobbyists: minorities, businessmen, nationalists, pan-europeans, unions, etc. are constantly at each other's throats to bargain and talk the government into complying with their wishes. But if threatened by an outsider, they stand united. The current problem is finding out if the EC is just such a threat This is the line that divides parties and lobbyists alike. On one side, the pro-ECers argue that the Republic can profit from continued affiliation with the EC They believe that the CR is bound to become a member, on the same footing as the others.

On the other side, loyal patriots fear increasing dependence on Western trade partners. The pro-NCE league plans a trade union eastern neighbors to counter the growing EC power. Of course, this union would be under control of the Republic, since it is the richest state in NCE right now. Leader of the pro-NCE group is Anna Lera, populist and Minister of Culture; she published several books highlighting the concentration of EC power in German/French hands. Now 40 years of age, no one knows if she will live to be 41, having survived two "terrorist' attacks already.

But what really bothers the Easies, aside from Czech nationalists and 3000 activists, is the increasing influence of Far Eastern corps on Czech politics. Seeing an opportunity to move into the Euro-market again, corporations like Arasaka and Mitsubishi-Dai invest heavily in the Czech economy. And since their goals met at the point of checking EC power, they began secretly donating funds to the pro-NCE league. Already, cheap Arasaka weapons supplement Prague's police arsenal. The situation causes headaches among knowledgeable Easies.[1]

Economy[]

The riches thrust on the Czech Republic's shoulders came from two sources: EC investments and comparatively cheap labor. The Prague government, though split into factions, is good at creating an ideal environment for young enterprises. Most groups, advocate low labor costs, government incentives for beginners, and a variety of other measures. The country is geared for success in a big way.

But this is only one side of the economy. The Czech country-side depends heavily on German tourists. Hordes invade the country every year to examine the old castles and beautiful scenery. Since most other major touristic areas have become somewhat "terrorist-friendly" from a vacationer's standpoint, Germans now go to their own backyard for vacation. Thus, the Republic's hinterlands became dotted with tourist resorts. tie advent of the 3000 group, they have increased security, resulting in dashes between corp police and tie local populace. This hasn't endeared the Germans to the Czechs, but since tourism is a major money-maker, local governments keep a lid on it.[1]

Cities[]

Prague[]

Prague is one of the most beautiful capitals in the world. Since it wasn't hit by bomber raids in WW II, Prague's buildings survived almost unscathed. The various mansions and edifices speak of a colorful history dating back a thousand years, their styles as diverse as the population of Prague itself.

The city is home to everything from Slovaks, Bosniaks, and Germans, to Gypsies and many others. This diversity stems from the fact that Prague has always been a stopping point for one of the oldest and most important land routes in Europe—the corridor from the North European plain to the Danube. This has always brought trade—and a Europe-wide influx of people—to Prague. Of these people, three groups that have a particular influence in today's city life: the Germans, the Jews and the students.

Prague was always home to a large Jewish ghetto. Barely 5000 of the original 30,000 survived the Nazis, but the Jews persisted anyway. Of course, the ghetto has long since been eliminated, while many modem jewish centers dot the city. The most recent event for the Jewish community was the Mid-East Meltdown. It brought many Jews seeking shelter in Prague. As a result, the number of Jews rose to more than 35,000. you might think makes the community a ripe target for Muslim hardliners, but a number of the immigrants are ex-soldiers still protecting their people. Defence training has begun among the younger Jews in case the persecutions start again.

Germany also has a long history in Prague. Wenzel a 13th century king, drew many Germans to his city and his court Charles V. continued this tradition; he chose Prague the site of the first university in German-speaking lands. The German community continued growing until the midd-19th century, when about 50% percent of Prague spoke German as their first language.

Recently, German-speakers have increased as German firms that imported managerial staff. Thus, the German influence is steadily increasing, making the Czech population somewhat wary. But still, they bring cash and that's what really counts, neh?

Prague's Germans face an immediate threat from the 3000 group. Since the advent of these terrorists, there have been a total of 69 hits on German installations and citizens. Today, paranoia is the name of the game for German civilians in Prague.

The University of Prague, a centre of German teaming and culture, is also home to wide variety of opinions. From church reformers in the 7th century to the Prague Spring of '68, it has always been a centre of revolutionary ideas. Today the university is a battlefield of clashing cultural drifts, most notably, nationalism vs. humanistic communism. The vocal battles within the Carolinum are only the most visible sign of what's going on in Prague's academic population. The students, as always, carry new ideas and spread them to the best of their ability, via anti-German demonstrations, reemerging communist theories, or whatever. Many groups are moving to gain influence in campus politics. Officially, the university is non-politic, but in reality, the various professors use their positions to influence students. Thus Germans, Czech nationalists, socialists and others try to install their favorite professors.

Aside from political battles, Prague thrives as always. Business people from all over Europe walk its streets and sign deals in its rustic restaurants.[1]

Reference[]

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 RAMOS, J. Eurosource Plus. 1st ed. Berkeley CA: R. Talsorian Games, 1995 (pg.67-69)
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