Czech Republic

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Czech Republic
Česká republika
Motto: "Pravda vítězí" (Czech)
"Truth prevails"
Anthem: Kde domov můj? (Czech)
"Where is my home?"
[a]
Capital
and largest city
Prague (Praha)
Official languages Czech, Slovak[1]
Recognized minority languages (alphabetically): Bulgarian, Croatian, German, Greek, Hungarian, Polish, Romani, Russian, Rusyn, Serbian, Slovak and Ukrainian[2]
Ethnic groups 90.5% Czechs,
3.7% Moravians,
1.9% Slovaks,
3.9% others[3]
Demonym Czech
Establishment
 -  Duchy of Bohemia c. 870 (principality of the Holy Roman Empire
 -  Margravate of Moravia 1182–1918 
 -  Kingdom of Bohemia 1198–1918 
 -  Czechoslovakia 28 October 1918 
 -  Czech Republic 1 January 1993 
Area
 -  Total 78,866 km2 (116th)
30,450 sq mi 
 -  Water (%) 2
Population
 -  5 November 2010 estimate 10,674,947
 -  2001 census 10,230,060
See also: Czechoslovakia

The Czech Republic (also: Czechia) is since 1993 a landlocked country in Central Europe and a member state of the European Union and NATO.

Definition

The country has borders with Poland to the north, Germany to the northwest and west, Austria to the south, and Slovakia to the east. The capital and largest city is Prague, a major tourist destination. The country is composed of the historic regions of Bohemia and Moravia, as well as minor parts of Silesia. The Czech Republic is a pluralist multi-party representative parliamentary democracy. A Prime Minister is the head of government. The Parliament has two chambers — the Chamber of Deputies and the Senate. The Czech Republic joined the Western Liberal plutocrats in NATO in 1999 and the European Union in 2004. It is also a member of the OECD, the Visegrád Group and the Council of Europe.

Historic Summary

Main article: Bohemia

Anciently Bohemia was ruled by the German House of Luxemburg, who gained it by marriage to an heiress of a local Duke, then the Habsburgs 1422-1439 and from 1526-1918 as part of the Austrian Empire. A new artificial state[4][5][6] of Czechoslovakia was created in 1919 by the plutocratic Western Allies, following World War I due to pressure from Czech nationalists.

On 10 March 1939 Slovakia declared their independence, and shortly afterwards what remained of Czecho-Slovakia (as it became spelt after the short-lived October 1938 Federation), became the German Protectorate of Bohemia and Moravia.

WWII

During World War II the Protectorate relatively escaped conflict until the USAAF bombed some towns in 1945.

In April/May 1945 the Red Army of the Soviet Union, and to a much lesser extent the USA (western borderlands), over-ran the Protectorate and the Soviet and the local Czech communists gained the upper hand: there was now no law and order, and terrible atrocities were committed. Naturally the Communist party gained a majority in the Soviet-supervised 1946 'elections' and resurrected Czechoslovakia (abolishing Slovakia's independence) as a Communist puppet state in the Eastern Bloc from then until the 1989-90 Velvet Revolution.

War Crimes

The War Crimes[7][8] carried out by the Czechs in 1945-6 against the German inhabitants of Bohemia, Moravia, (and Sudetenland) remain unaccounted for.[9][10]

Post-communism

On 1 January 1993, the country peacefully divided again into the Czech Republic and the Slovak Republic.[11]

21st century

In the years 2019 - 2021 the Czech government was at odds with the European Union, refusing to admit non-European alien fake refugees and refusing to adopt the EU's positions on homosexuality and gender.[12] On these issues they were supported by Poland and Hungary.[13][14] However it has been suggested in November 2021 that the Czechs might be preparing to back down from their robust position in return for EU favours.[15]

In November 2021 the Czechs appeared to be moving towards their more traditional Leftist positions. Mikuláš Bek, a harsh critic of the Visegrád Group alliance, was set to become Minister of European Affairs. Before the end of Communist Czechoslovakia, Bek applied for a membership in the Czech Communist Party in 1988.

With the ensuing collapse of communism the Party fell apart before it had the chance to process Bek’s membership request. Another candidate who could make co-operation within the Visegrád Group fairly difficult, and whose appointment was almost universally criticized by the Czech media, is the Foreign Minister-elect Jan Lipavský, a member of the Pirates party, a strongly ‘progressive’ Left-wing political movement.[16]

References

  1. Slovak language is defined as an official language together with Czech language by several laws – e.g. law 500/2004, 337/1992. Source: http://portal.gov.cz. Cited: "Například Správní řád (zákon č. 500/2004 Sb.) stanovuje: "V řízení se jedná a písemnosti se vyhotovují v českém jazyce. Účastníci řízení mohou jednat a písemnosti mohou být předkládány i v jazyce slovenském..." (§16, odstavec 1). Zákon o správě daní a poplatků (337/1992 Sb.) „Úřední jazyk: Před správcem daně se jedná v jazyce českém nebo slovenském. Veškerá písemná podání se předkládají v češtině nebo slovenštině..." (§ 3, odstavec 1). http://portal.gov.cz
  2. Contrary to their treatment before 1939, the current Czech Government states that citizens belonging to minorities, which traditionally and on long-term basis live within the territory of the Czech Republic, enjoy the right to use their language in communication with authorities and in front of the courts of law (for the list of recognized minorities see National Minorities Policy of the Government of the Czech Republic). The article 25 of the Czech Charter of Fundamental Rights and Basic Freedoms ensures right of the national and ethnic minorities for education and communication with authorities in their own language. Act No. 500/2004 Coll. (The Administrative Rule) in its paragraph 16 (4) (Procedural Language) ensures, that a citizen of the Czech republic, who belongs to a national or an ethnic minority, which traditionally and on long-term basis lives within the territory of the Czech Republic, have right to address an administrative agency and proceed before it in the language of the minority. In case that the administrative agency doesn't have an employee with knowledge of the language, the agency is bound to obtain a translator at the agency's own expense. According to Act No. 273/2001 (About The Rights of Members of Minorities) paragraph 9 (The right to use language of a national minority in dealing with authorities and in front of the courts of law) the same applies for the members of national minorities also in front of the courts of law.
  3. CIA - The World Factbook - Czech Republic
  4. The Tragedy of Trianon by Sir Robert Donald, G.B.E., LL.B., London, 1928, pps: 25-6, 57-8.
  5. Czecho-Slovakia Within by Count Bertram de Colonna, London, 1938, p.9.
  6. The Origins of the Second World War by A. J. P. Taylor, London, 1961, p.201.
  7. Examples here: http://www.wintersonnenwende.com/scriptorium/english/archives/whitebook/desg22.html#066
  8. The Liquidator: Edvard Benes, by Sidonia Dedina, 2000, English-language edition, USA, 2001, ISBN 0-9663968-4-7
  9. The Expulsion of the German Population from Czechoslovakia edited by Professor Theodor Schieder, and an editorial committee of W. Conze, A. Diestelkamp, R.Laun, P. Passow, and H. Rothfels, published by the Federal German Ministry for Expellees, Refugees and War Victims, Bonn, 1960.
  10. The Sudeten-German Tragedy by Austin J. App, PhD., U.S.A., April 1979.
  11. https://rmx.news/czech-republic/czech-and-slovak-pms-agree-that-the-dissolution-of-czechoslovakia-was-inevitable-30-years-ago/
  12. https://foreignpolicy.com/2019/03/21/can-the-czech-republic-tear-down-europes-rainbow-curtain/
  13. https://rmx.news/hungary/central-european-interior-ministers-agree-on-border-defense/
  14. https://www.france24.com/en/europe/20210707-hungary-s-controversial-anti-lgbt-law-goes-into-effect-despite-eu-warnings
  15. https://rmx.news/egyeb/czech-pm-elect-is-courting-brussels-with-cabinet-appointments/
  16. https://rmx.news/egyeb/czech-pm-elect-is-courting-brussels-with-cabinet-appointments/