Written by: Philippe Riboton
IN THE WAKE OF the terrible floods that raged through this country, it is difficult to predict how many companies have seen their offices, their factories or their storage facilities washed away with the river. Not to mention those that have seen their business interrupted, their deliveries stopped or their production halted. Only by year’s end will we know for sure the full impact of this terrible event on the financial outlook of numerous companies. But like many calamities, this one has a bright side: the future. One must remember that during the first semester of this year, the September 11 syndrome, together with the plunge of worldwide stock markets, had dulled most business players – even in the Czech Republic – into an apparent lethargy, a wait-and-see type of attitude. Then an unpredictable force of nature acted like a wake-up call, and the country came back to life: not only did the new government show its ability to deal with such a situation, but the citizens of this country demonstrated a great deal of courage, discipline and solidarity. They have stuck together, opened their arms to their neighbors, and acted selflessly, in the public interest. In view of this, there might even be more hope in the short-term future of the Czech economy than there was before this disastrous event. Moreover, there are opportunities to create a new dynamic, one which should help us all look at the future in a more proactive way. The Prague Tribune was not spared the effects of the catastrophe: at press time our Holešovice offices in Prague 7 were still without power (since August 13), and the whole district looked like a post-war zone. As a result, our entire operations had to be moved overnight to a temporary location, where we started again – assembling tables and unfolding chairs, setting up an ad-hoc network – just like the old days. The fact that you have this magazine in your hands is concrete proof that not only our staff, but also our contractors and business partners, have what it takes to look ahead and get this country back on course.