Zieleniec: Czech-Austrian relations strained

12-06-2001

The former Foreign Minister, Josef Zieleniec has said that he disagreed with Foreign Minister Jan Kavan's approach to several issues regarding Czech-Austrian relations. Before his two-day trip to Austria, Mr Zieleniec, met with Mr Kavan on Monday to discuss the Czech Republic's stand on these issues and told journalists after the meeting that Mr Kavan had handled them too optimistically. Mr. Zieleniec said nuclear-free Austria's opposition to the Temelin nuclear power plant in South Bohemia, its opposition to the Benes Decrees - under which thousands of German-speaking citizens were expelled after WWII - and reservations to the free movement of labour after EU expansion were all contributing to strained relations, and if left unsolved, may eventually make the European integration process more difficult.