With little amount of independent small business, and most people in the region employed (direct or indirectly) by larger firms from abroad. My experience as a foreigner doing small business here in this region, is that a large amount of resources within this financial office are focused on monitoring the habits of the smaller entrepreneurs. Example. I was forced into paying a commercial land tax rate for use of rental services. When only a minimum amount of people use these services in this region. Consider: Next to where i live logistic centres are built for larger multinationals, that soak up much of the labour resources (that could be used for smaller business), these centres don't blend in with the atmosphere of the region also. Houses are being built, yet restaurants and innovative services are closing down, or changing hands. The idea that tourism in the region might be good, and entrepreneurs could produce products for local markets, that are home grown. For individuals to be so heavily regulated by this office, with such minimal income is very odd from my perspective. Rather than looking at the region from lateral point of view, I feel this office looks at business through a linear perspective. Legislation designed in Prague to regulate or help multinational corporations mindlessly pounded on the head of the small business person, in a kafka style scenario. For the benefit of who? What's next Mr Financial office, or will you have to call Prague to get an answer on that.
Tuesday, 5 April 2022
Dear Ministry of Finance,
Friday, 24 December 2021
It's interesting, when you goto the city of Plzen.. a lot of empty shops. When I look inside some I can see that the guts have been ripped out, yet the tiles on the walls are new and the concept of the business and writing on the outside of the building is almost fresh. All these shells gutted in order to meet the terms of the banks or the execution companies i guess, yet can't confirm? As i understand the land lords of small business's were under no obligations to change rents for small business's. One of the only small business's that survived that I'm familiar with as far as the hospitality industry is a small burger place, yet that is run as a sole trader with no employees and relatively low rent, And also a DIY built in infra-structure. I expect no loans with the bank. The bigger business's like, coffee chains in the centre have remained open. A few of the big brands have gone, or fallen into the ownership of the bigger multi-nationals. When you look at it, no way were those small business's/companies going to be protected through Corona by the Czech state. The Czech state primarily looks after its self, as a major priority. Someone once said to me that the Czech president has once described small business as a parasite on the system?
Difference between State enterprise and small business?
When I look at the hospital infra structure here, what do i see. I needed to get an old hospital bill, in order to get the bill, I have to goto a woman in a room, she has her own room about 20 square meters. Then i have to pay a bill in another room about 40 square meters in order to get the old bill. Both areas have only one person working in them. Its 100 percent obvious that heating these rooms for the cold half of the year is expensive and not ecological, other uses could be brought to this infra structure, yet i somehow expect that the two floors above it are empty. This whole building might easily be changed and the people that are in these rooms might work from home, if the state here had an Estonian style infra-structure.
In Estonia for example, I can send a document to an office/court from my email, and from that computer I can then encrypt any file so it can be sent to a government office, the government office will then recognise that document. In Czech what the state did was build a similar structure between all offices and the state that is something similar to email, so people can "if they would like too." get one of these data boxes. The Czech state created more systems of communication that are more easily hacked, in Estonia less and much less intrusive. For large business's and law firms the system makes more sense. Yet for the small business person, the Czechnology machine makes little sense. Another password, another way the state can monitor the small business, another potential hack out of the individuals control. One system empowers the state and big business, the Estonian one empowers the individual.
In the corona times, we saw the big business's get bailed out. Yet the only small business that could survive, are mostly those that were one person or couple operators. These other systems like hospitals, get to function in un-ecological high cost ways, with little scrutiny.
What happens to foreigners. How the Czech state keeps them out?
In Czech with foreigners. The government made legislation so that business visa costs went up 100 percent in the last years. To top it off they put up the cost of health care by 500 percent. The way they put up the cost of health care for foreigners was that they created a monopoly out of the state health insurance company PVZP, so now the foreigner can only use that company for health insurance by law. The idea that profits from selling health insurance to marginalised foreigners goes to supporting the state health insurance company, is a little strange to start with, yet i guess with CORONA the government went for the monopoly opportunity. Initially payments were around 40,000 crowns for a year, the previous year the foreigner paid 7-8000 a year. The state health insurance company covers foreigner only for the term of the contract. So if the small business person (sole trader) gets sick in her/his stay, unless they have paid for health insurance for 5 years they are not technically covered for the illness.. in the next term of the contract. Those foreigners who get a work permit to work for a company, are covered by the public health care system, so long as they remain employed. To top it off in countries that are developing, rather than developed, it's near impossible to get an appointment to put in a business visa. Also, i was told by my immigration lawyer that one of her clients a Syrian student, was granted a scholarship to Charles university, the ministry explained that his documents were not correct, when they were. In the waiting period the student was killed. Unfortunately when people make these mistakes at the ministry of interior, rather than being told they are no-longer needed, I expect they are promoted. The other thing that the Czech state has done, is that they have increased the requirement of language from basic too comprehensive. With such a lack of diversity within the Czech population already. Building a migrant labour force out of people that have no interest to stay here other than for the money they are paid, creates problems for the Czech community, so I'm told. Yet i think this is also a myth that the Czech media is selling. Much of this media comes out through the former prime minister. know to have many conflicts of interest.
Part of the definition of fascism.
Similarly, fascism as an ideology is also hard to define. Originally, it referred to a totalitarian political movement linked with corporatism which existed in Italy from 1922 to 1943 under the leadership of Benito Mussolini.
often capitalized : a political philosophy, movement, or regime (such as that of the Fascisti) that exalts nation and often race above the individual and that stands for a centralized autocratic government headed by a dictatorial leader, severe economic and social regimentation, and forcible suppression of opposition
Saturday, 18 December 2021
I wrote this review of the ministry interior based in Plzen today. Decided it best not to stir the hive though, so took it down. Again the ministry refuses to give me permanent residence. Seems like a life in litigation to stay here.
It’s hard to know where to start with the description of this office. If officials do speak English, they’ll refuse to use that skill. If your from a Western European mindset, be prepared for dose of what life might have been like pre 1990s. What to expect. 1) lack of common sense 2) zero trust and lack of respect for EU directives 3) officials that are not paid enough to understand the law or what a human right is 4) no empathy for your situation, if your having a bad day don’t expect it to improve if you goto this office 5) expect to be judged by a lot of subjective information, say as little as possible 6) generally.. understand that the democratic process just never made it to this office. Don’t let these people get you down though, be patient and see the experience as some sort of comedy. Expect every process to take 3 or 4 times longer than you expect. The important thing to understand is that these people don’t represent Czech people. People that apply to work or accept jobs in these kinds of offices, are a very specific type of person. Don’t disrespect them, they know every trick in the book to make your life difficult/expensive. Sit back, relax and take a seat in a Kafka novel. If your an innovative, independent thinker, take serious time out to consider if this region is worth your energy.
Tuesday, 14 December 2021
I stopped publishing at this blog years back.. why? because i created a non-profit organisation. I figured that the old building might become a community project, especially as i was doing the project mostly with the help of volunteers. I was hoping for a community voice/blog, yet it did not happen. A foreigner starting a non-profit organisation from Australia that owns a railway station, that is something that does not make much sense to people around here, this is at least is the vibe i get.
Since the non-profit started, I've run into brick wall after brick wall, yet the brick walls were here before that, i thought the non-profit might be a way around some of those problems and be able to integrate the local community through the project. No such luck. Every plan/process that i have put forward to any government body has been knocked back. Every possible problem with my status as immigrant has been investigated and taken to the court, the supreme court once and municipal court twice. Every loan application knocked back. Septic tank, land tax rate, foreigner guest entry for airbnb... and the list goes on. I actually can't think of anything that can be inspected by the state and has not been.
Anyway.. So the people that I started the non-profit with, they have kind of lost interest. So i'm now the director of the non-profit and owner of the building, sounds like a conflict of interest. Yet so be it..
Anyway, doing my best to reboot the non-profit project in 2022 with open, democratic & inclusive ideas. During this whole time though, i've continued with volunteers through workaway and airbnb, things go well if you take the Corona virus into consideration.
I guess its a little similar to Australia, the capital cities are good and fine, yet living in a small neglected town in regional Australia as a foreigner and starting a non-profit for culture and the environment... It could be even more painful.
I do feel though that in all this ridiculous misery, I have somehow found myself. Those capitalistic bones, they really just don't fit me, and I guess that is why I'm here. I recall a line i once heard in a song, the only good thing about a small town is leaving it.
Blog on, and hopefully better times in 2022. Here is the link to the non-profit. The show must go on.
Thursday, 5 April 2018
Saturday, 24 February 2018
How did the non-profit happen?
Last year World life experience offered a donation to the station of 2500 Euros. The idea to start a non-profit has seemed like a good idea for a while, yet nothing had ever come my way to spring the idea into motion. From a distance this is probably the most obvious way to get things moving, it gives a path for people that want to help, a way to help. It’s not been easy at times to manage people that just want to help out in an alternate business environment. This year because of the contribution from world life experience, the station has a non-profit. Kulturní Stanice. Founded by Lucie Šavlíková, Markéta Gottwaldová & Pavla Waldhauserova.
Why have a non-profit?
In the last years through the many people that have passed through the place, lots of ideas about what might happen here have have been documented. You can visit them here at this link. For now the station grows through revenues brought to the station through airbnb and the good will of volunteers that arrive via the workaway project. The progress is slow, using volunteers works, yet some things need to be done by professionals, especially with old buildings. As the building is a cultural monument many subsidies are available. Its been difficult to follow all the steps, as a non-profit it might be easier. To organise events in a community that fit with the community is difficult in a low density population area. I'd prefer not to go into a deal with the bank and a construction company, or have to make deals with concert promoters. I'd rather work with a community in connection with a non-profit.
If you have an idea, that you'd like to bring to the station, or want to work with ideas already in motion, write us.
Thanks for your attention.
Monday, 22 January 2018
-It took around 6-12 months to get approval to paint the windows. To allow volunteers to paint windows rather than experts, is also a little complicated. NPU are still yet to give me permission to paint the doors. If you can finance it, 70 percent of costs can be covered by the state. Yet your obligated to use qualified people, that have a wealth of skills. You'll have to pay the costs and after the job is done to the expectation of NPU.cz, you can then ask for money back. This makes it very complicated, as you really have to run the project in conjunction with a bank and construction company. Fortunately i don't have any 100 percent immediate jobs that need to be done.
-In your situation, it might be important to make sure that no immediate works have to be done on the building. I suggest contacting www.npu.cz and seeing what parts of the building are protected and what you can do. Prior to buying. The real-estate agent might be selling you something worth 1 CZ, for a million. Process with the NPU, has its reasons, yet its not simple.
Sunday, 26 November 2017
Friday, 3 November 2017
Today I saw an article online. here is a link. In Estonia they have bus's without drivers. This might be the tip of the iceberg for the future of travel in Europe. Rather than owning a car, people might own a driverless bus with 200 people in a town, or something. Driverless Vehicles might even run on railway tracks linking small towns to faster train hubs. The idea that a public transport systems might combine with a felixaeble timetable through an app.
Tuesday, 31 October 2017
Sunday, 22 October 2017
Wednesday, 11 October 2017
Tuesday, 19 September 2017
Sunday, 17 September 2017
Friday, 7 July 2017
Recently Prague has really changed, as far as urban culture for younger people. A lot of alternative cafe's have started, that resemble those in Western Europe, UK, US, Australia and Canada. Prague has its own coffee culture. My thoughts are that this evolution might have happened sooner and have more integrity, if more of those foreigners had stayed.
A couple of weeks back i had a group of 10 people staying through the aribnb from an NGO that organises the celebrations for the 17th of November, on the internet this public holiday is written as the "Struggle for Freedom and Democracy Day." They hold the event at Národní Třída. link here
On the 17th of November 1939, nine Czech students were Executed by Nazi forces that occupied the then Czechoslovakia. Link here The 9th of November is also International Students' Day.
The group were positive, full of energy and enthusiasm for Czech and its future. Was kind of refreshing to see this.
Thursday, 29 June 2017
Table was broken by GLS, i paid for the table and delivery and then 5 minuets latter when i looked at the box, saw that it was broken. In Germany (GLS) when a package is sent, and its not fit for travel the courier will inform the sender that the package was not packed properly. Yet in Czech, no such rule exists. Subsequently the person that picks up and delivers packages can treat an object as he chooses. I tried to get the funds back from the seller through Aukro, (Aukro is a kind of Czech eBay) run by a Polish company called Allegro. Anyway, as the seller refused to file a claim with GLS, it was assumed that it was my fault the damage. Because i signed for the goods without inspecting them. With the paypal the seller has many more rights. Its interesting how the Czech state has done all it can to keep paypal out of Czech, Paypal offers buyers a better deal, and gives the option of broader sales to sellers. Czech postal tracking is not recognised by eBay, because Czech post fail to comply with international norms with shipping times. This means that Czech in most instances are forced to use the domestic market for selling. Prices are lower, this in turn gives a lower value to quite cool furniture, and thus insures that a lot of nice things from Czech culture get put in the trash. Historically Czech's haves created some really interesting furniture, before and during communism. Mostly the bigger transport companies like Czech post, GLS and PPL in Czech are able to get around the consumer laws here. The democracy mostly fails here (i think??), as the Czech people don't demand the service and very few mid to small sized business offer accessible services, within the transport industry.
Sunday, 25 June 2017
Initially I wanted to apply for funding from the local council to restore the windows, yet the bureaucracy was thick, and it really did not make sense when i have volunteers. As an owner of a monument your able to get 60-70 percent back on what you pay for work & materials from the local council or ministry of culture. The accountability is complicated though, and often has a big element of idocracy to it. Often i see buildings that are very old, that look perfect, for me this kind of spoils the old buildings atmosphere. Fortunately i have found a local man that was previously a registered architect working mostly in Prague, he understands materials and the way of old buildings. For now he likes the project and is not so expensive to employ. He's able to show the volunteers how to do the jobs, guide them through any process's and make sure that all is ok.
Bellow are pictures of the restoration of windows we have done so far.