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Slovakia to celebrate its 15th anniversary

On January 1, Slovakia will commemorate the fifteenth anniversary of its independence. In 1993, after 75 years of a common state of Slovaks and Czechs, the countries, represented by Václav Klaus on the Czech side and Vladimír Mečiar on the Slovak side, decided that the Czech-Slovak Federal Republic should end, and split the country. The whole process was calm and peaceful.

On January 1, Slovakia will commemorate the fifteenth anniversary of its independence. In 1993, after 75 years of a common state of Slovaks and Czechs, the countries, represented by Václav Klaus on the Czech side and Vladimír Mečiar on the Slovak side, decided that the Czech-Slovak Federal Republic should end, and split the country. The whole process was calm and peaceful.

Czech political analyst Ladislav Caban told the SITA newswire that the peaceful split of the country had contributed to better relations between Czechs and Slovaks.

The split and its causes still resonate amongst Slovaks and Czechs. Caban, as well as the Czech political analyst Jiří Pehe, see the need for Slovak political emancipation as the main reason for it.

Slovak sociologist Zora Bátorová commented on how people perceived the split for SITA. Sociological surveys from 1992 and 1993 indicated that people did not want the countries to split, even though they had different opinions on how the country should be run. In Slovakia, people were afraid of the economic as well as political consequences.

But according to her even those opposed to the split have started to change their mind. While in 2003 less than half of Slovakia expressed pride in what Slovakia has achieved since independence, that number had grown to two thirds by the end of 2007.

Compiled by Jana Liptaková from press reports

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