What on earth has become of Prague's coronation route, known as the Royal Way, the paper wants to know.
It is tempting to regard the question as an uncharacteristic traipse into xenophobic territory, harnessing Czech bitterness over treatment at the hands of the Soviet Union and the more recent presence of conspicuously affluent Russians in the capital and in resort areas like Karlovy Vary.
Except that the strongest criticism comes straight from the mouth of the mayor of Prague 1 himself, and is echoed by the opposition and other officials. (Prague has district mayors, in addition to a lord mayor.)
The mayor points out that the fate of much of this downtown area is in private hands, since "Prague 1 owns just 10 percent of all the residential space" along the former king's route to the Castle. So long as shopkeeper tenants are paying their rents, and landlords are happy, what's the trouble, right?
Comes the answer, according to "Respekt":
"Yes, I have heard the same question asked by locals," says Kaucký [Lukáš Kaucký, the opposition Social Democratic city councilor responsible for tourism and culture]. Is he planning to do anything about it? And why does he think that jewelry that nobody buys is the right type of product to be sold along the Royal Way? "Well, we actually want to take a walk along the Royal Way and record all the business going on there -- what tourists are interested in buying, find out the identities of the vendors and learn more about the money-laundering allegations. In fact, we are only just getting started with the Royal Way."
-- Andy Heil