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Today in History: June 20,1992 — Czechoslovakia break-up final

June 20,1992 — Czechoslovakia break-up final

Gulf News

Czechoslovakia is no more. Seventy-four years after the philosopher-statesman Tomas Garrague Masaryk founded his country out of the ruins of the Austro-Hungarian empire, the main Czech and Slovak political parties said that they had agreed to split the republic into two separate states. The announcement caused gloom in every part of Europe, east and west. Like its playwright-president, Vaclav Havel, Czechoslovakia stood for tolerance, humanity, humour, integrity, courage and the hope of a better future. Of all the countries which threw off Communism in 1989, Czechoslovakia, with its strong democratic traditions and once vibrant economy, was considered the most likely to make a successful, stable transition to a freemarket democracy. The divorce was negotiated in Bratislava, the Slovak capital, after 14 hours of negotiations between Vaclav Klaus and Vladimir Meciar, respective leaders of the Czech Civic Democratic Party and the Movement for a Democratic Slovakia. They agreed to form a 10-member caretaker federal government to oversee the split, and said the Czech and Slovak regional parliaments would settle the final constitutional arrangements for the separation.

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