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Czech Republic Official to Discuss Transformation from Socialism to a Free Market Economy

Moravian MBA presents deputy mayor of Ostrava, Czech Republic, Zbynek Praza —April 14

Bethlehem, Pa., April 11, 2005— The deputy mayor of Ostrava, Czech Republic, Zbynek Prazak will speak at Moravian College on Thursday, April 14. His speech is titled “Law, Ethics, and Economy during the Economic and Political Transformation from Socialism to a Free Market Economy in the Czech Republic.” It is sponsored by the Moravian MBA Program. The event will be held in room 232 of the Priscilla Payne Hurd Academic Complex, located on Monocacy Street, Bethlehem. There will be a meet and greet at 5:00 p.m., followed by the speech at 5:30 and a question and answer session at 6:15. Light refreshments will be served. The lecture is free and open to the public. For more information, contact William Kleintop at 610-625-7704.

Prazak graduated from the University of Technology in Ostrava in 1979 with a master’s degree in industrial engineering. Later he began post-graduate study in the division of labor and economic law of the law faculty of Charles University in Prague. He is now completing a doctorate at the faculty of City Urbanism at the University of Technology in Ostrava. Ostrava is the third largest city in the Czech Republic.

Prazak has served as Ostrava’s deputy mayor since 1992. In that capacity, he is responsible in part for departments for social work, health care, education, culture, crime prevention, drug-abuse problems and prevention, and minority issues. He visited the United States in 1995 to gain an understanding of minority groups in this country. At the end of last year, he gave a speech at an international conference in Rotterdam titled “The Integration of National Minorities.” Prazak frequently travels to study and speak about international issues.

He and his family were persecuted under communist rule for having dissident political and religious views. Prazak even belonged to the anti-communist underground during the 1980s, distributing the “Samizda” press and other forbidden literature. He has been instrumental in helping the Czech Republic to adopt a democratic ideology after the fall of the Iron Curtain, particularly within Ostrava and Moravian-Silesian County. He was recently awarded Poland’s highest honorary medal for his work during the continuing development of relations between Poland and the Czech Republic. He is the president of the Christian-Democratic Union, a European political party, in Ostrava. Prazak was also elected as president of the Club of Representatives in 2000. The Club of Representatives is the largest political association in Moravian-Silesian County.