RADIO FREE EUROPE/RADIO LIBERTY, PRAGUE, CZECH REPUBLIC
RFE/RL NEWSLINE 17 December 1999
SLOVAKIA WANTS TO COORDINATE COURSE ON BENES DECREES WITH
CZECHS. Jan Figel, Slovakia's chief negotiator with the EU,
told CTK on 16 December that during accession talks,
Slovakia would be interested in coordinating its position
on the Benes decrees with that of the Czech Republic. He
was responding to a recent statement by Czech Foreign
Minister Jan Kavan, who told "Lidove noviny" that the Czech
Republic will soon start discussions with Austria on the
decrees among "experts, legal experts, and historians."
Bratislava earlier refused to discuss the question of the
Benes decrees, under which Germans, Hungarians, and other
"enemies of the Czechoslovak people" were expelled from the
former Czechoslovakia in 1945 and their property
confiscated. Organizations representing the expelled
Germans in Germany and Austria have long urged their
governments to insist that abrogating the decrees be a
condition for EU accession. MS
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