Prague aims to appease on Sudeten German question

Published on 22 February 2013 at 15:28

“In an address to the Bavarian parliament on February 21, Czech Prime Minister Petr Nečas presented an apology for the deportation of Sudeten Germans after 1945,” writes Hospodářské noviny. His speech, which received a standing ovation, amounts to extremely positive news for Sudeten Germans, remarks Die Zeit

In Prague, however, the left-wing opposition and the entourage of outgoing President Václav Klaus were outspoken in their criticism of the prime minister for “opening the door to claims for the restitution of property submitted by Sudeten Germans.” In January, the question of the Sudeten German was raised in the Czech presidential campaign, prompting concerns in Germany and Austria. In an editorial, the Prague business daily adds —

… we too […] should applaud Petr Nečas, who […] has openly recognised the injustice that followed the war. This is a lot better than falsely affirming, alongside President Klaus, that innocent Germans were robbed, lynched and murdered, but that is because they started everything.

In Austria, Die Presse offers a different interpretation of the Czech PM’s speech —

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Nečas did not rule out the possibility of handing back property belonging to [Sudeten Germans]. [...] At the same time, he did not go any further than what was said in the 1997 German-Czech declaration.

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