MEPs demand apology for Benes decrees

| tschechische-republik

The European Parliament has held a special session to discuss the Benes decrees following the submission of a legal report favourable to the Czech position on the matter. German and Austrian MEPs demanded that the Czechs apologise for driving out Germans after the Second World War and that Prague make a statement distancing itself morally from the post-war settlement in Europe. Expellees' associations have attacked the legal opinion as incompatible with a ,,Europe of values and law".

The spokesman for Expellees in the CDU/CSU parliamentary party in the German Bundestag, Hartmut Koschyk, said that report's argument was ,,extremely threadbare". The Czech foreign minister, Cyril Svoboda, has said that his country will refuse to be pressurized into making any statement, although there is also speculation that the terms of the 1997 German-Czech declaration might be repeated, in which the Czechs admitted that much injustice was done to innocent people during the expulsions. Svoboda's remarks were addressed principally to Austria, where the governing Freedom Party is still threatening to veto enlargement if the Czechs do not say sorry.

European Foundation Intelligence Digest No. 153