Verheugen: Benes decrees problem "has disappeared"

03-12-2002

The European Union's Commissioner for Enlargement, Guenter Verheugen, has praised the settling of the dispute between the Czech Republic and Austria over the post-war Benes decrees. Addressing a lecture in Vienna on Tuesday, Mr Verheugen was quoted as saying the problem had now disappeared. The Benes decrees sanctioned the expulsion of around three million ethnic Germans from Czechoslovakia after the Second World War. The expulsion has been the source of tension with Austria in recent years, with some expellees calling for an apology and restitution of property. The two countries recently made progress towards settling the dispute.