The Czech Republic is showing its modern face with an increasing intensity. The far-reaching structural change that has been underway in the country since the 1990s has not always been simple, but over the last few years a lasting consolidation has occurred. With high growth levels and low debt and unemployment, the landlocked EU country with a population of 10.5 million is today indisputably one of Europe’s most competitive and future-orientated economies. The rate of unemployment in the capital city, Prague, is one of the lowest on the entire continent.
The privatisation of the retail trade and its focus on customer demand has resulted in a radical reorientation of the goods on offer: more boutiques, fewer food shops. Major urban projects plan more space for pedestrians, less transit traffic and retail. This is also appreciated by foreign tourists, for whom Prague is becoming ever more attractive.
Unlike in many places before the 1989 Velvet Revolution, the inhabitants of Prague don’t just enjoy life on their days off. Proof of this are the restaurants and cafés that put their tables on the street and which are well-frequented on weekday evenings as well as at weekends. Prague is a city of strollers, but a nonchalant lifestyle was barely imaginable here 30 years ago. Young people particularly enjoy the emerging opportunities and characterise the cosmopolitan flair of the new Prague.