Will the European Union attempt to force the Czech Republic's hand over the delicate issue of the ethnic Germans expelled after World War Two? Some Austrian, German and Hungarian politicians are calling for the controversial decrees of the post war Czechoslovak President Edvard Benes, that formed the legal basis for the expulsions, to be revoked. Following months of uncertainty and conflicting signals from members of the European Commission and the European Parliament an increasing number of Czech politicians feel that the time has come for the
Listening to the news from this part of the world you might easily arrive at the conclusion that the Czech Republic and Austria are at war. What with controversy over the safety of the Temelin nuclear power plant and the ongoing dispute over the post-war Benes decrees it has not been an easy time and one would be hard put to find a positive statement in Czech-Austrian relations these past few months...
The dispute over the post-war expulsion of two and a half million ethnic Germans from Czechoslovakia was reinvigorated on Sunday, after the head of the Landsmannschaft - the largest organisation representing Sudeten Germans - appeared on a Czech TV discussion programme. Landsmannschaft chairman Bernt Posselt confirmed that plans were underfoot to open an office in Prague, a delicate announcement given the simmering dispute over the post-war expulsion and possible compensation. Earlier my colleague Rob Cameron spoke to the BBC's Petr Brod, a Czech
he Czech Prime Minister Milos Zeman recently stirred up a hornets' nest in neighbouring Germany and Austria when he said that Sudeten Germans - the German minority in Czechoslovakia - had been Hitler's "fifth column" in the run-up to the Second World War - and bore the direct blame for the collapse of Czechoslovakia, followed by the grim years of Nazi occupation. In an interview for the Austrian weekly "Profil", Mr Zeman justified the mass expulsion of over two million ethnic Germans after the war with the argument that they were traitors - pure
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