THE EUROPEAN Commission has said the Beneš Decrees are a dead issue that belongs to history, and that even though they don't conform with modern human rights standards, they need not be formally annulled before either the Czech or Slovak Republics enters the European Union. The decrees were a series of laws passed during and after world war two by the exiled Czechoslovak government and that deprived thousands of ethnic Germans and Hungarians of land and Czechoslovak citizenship. Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán recently added fuel to a smouldering dispute in central Europe by demanding the two regional powers cancel the decrees.
11. Mar 2002 at 0:00 | Compiled from Slovak press reports