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Chronology for Slovaks in the Czech Republic

Publisher Minorities at Risk Project
Publication Date 2004
Cite as Minorities at Risk Project, Chronology for Slovaks in the Czech Republic, 2004, available at: [accessed 22 February 2018]
DisclaimerThis is not a UNHCR publication. UNHCR is not responsible for, nor does it necessarily endorse, its content. Any views expressed are solely those of the author or publisher and do not necessarily reflect those of UNHCR, the United Nations or its Member States.
Date(s) Item
Jul 1992 Jiri Carsky, Director of the Employment Department of the Czech Ministry of Labor and Social Affairs said in an interview: "At present 308,000 citizens of Slovak nationality live in the Czech Republic. I think that it is necessary to stress this fact because recently much higher figures have been mentioned, such as that there are almost a million Slovaks in the Czech Republic. The figures mentioned by me ... emerges from the census."(BBC, 07/31/92). More than one third of them live in the region of North Moravia. Many also live in border districts of West and South Bohemia. On the other hand, there are almost 60,000 Czechs living in Slovakia, which represents about 1.1% of the population of the Slovak Republic.
Oct 1992 Premiers Klaus of the Czech Republic and Meciar of Slovakia agreed on July 23 to dissolve the two republic's 74-year marriage after the failure of talks over Slovakia's demands for sovereignty within the federation. President Havel, a Czech, resigned when Slovakia's parliament declared sovereignty rather than preside over a break he had tried to avert. The Slovak government's view is that Mr. Klaus touched off the separation by refusing concessions that would put Slovakia, the poorer part of CzechoSlovakia, on a more equitable economic footing within the federal structure. (The New York Times, 10/09/92).
Dec 1992 On January 1, 1993 the Federation of the Slovaks and Czechs will formally split into two separate states. The split was finalized by a constitutional law on November 25, 1992 on the dissolution of the Federation. The two governments, among others, concluded a friendship and cooperation treaty, which contains a provision for the protection of the cultural and political interests of the minorities of Slovaks in the Czech Republic and of Czechs in the Slovak Republic. (Business Law Brief, 12/92). The Community of Slovaks, an apolitical citizens' group, was registered with the Czech Interior Ministry on 29th December 1992. Its President is a 42-year-old businessman J. Skorik, a Slovak living in Prague.
Feb 1993 Vaclav Havel was inaugurated as the Czech Republic's first President. The ceremony was attended by the leaders from all neighboring countries. Slovak Premier Meciar, whose defiance of Prague helped undo Havel's attempts to preserve the CzechoSlovak federation, stayed away on grounds of ill health (The San Francisco Chronicle, 02/03/93). While holding its first conference in Prague, representatives of the Community of Slovaks said they wanted to cooperate with Slovakia's Ambassador to Prague for solving the problems faced by the Slovaks in the Czech Republic. They stated that Slovaks who do not take Czech citizenship may be threatened with deportation (BBC, 02/18/93). Roman Zelenay, an adviser to the Slovak Premier attended the Congress. He said the Slovak government was ready to lend any assistance it could to Slovaks. Zelenay estimated that some 600,000 to 800,000 Slovaks currently reside in the Czech Republic, making it the country's largest ethnic minority. (BBC, 02/18/93).
Mar 1993 The Community of Slovaks was mapping the problems and demands of the newly emerging Slovak minority in the Czech Republic in order to find starting points for its activity. He said that building of Slovak institutions and Schools in the Czech Republic is conditioned by the interest of Slovaks living here. He noted, parents of only 6 children have expressed interest in sending them to the Slovak Basic School in Karvina, North Moravia, the only Slovak school in the Czech Republic. (CTK National News Wire, 03/07/93). A Conference was held by representatives of expatriate Slovaks and Slovak government early this month near Bratislava, capital of Slovakia. The expatriates criticized the CzechoSlovak-German treaty, the division of federal assets and in particular, the status of Slovaks in the Czech Republic. (CTK, 03/10/93).
May 1993 The Czech Ministry of Education, Youth and Sport has denied a statement by the Slovak Ambassador to the Czech Republic, Ivan Mjartan, who said there is subtle discriminatory pressure against Slovaks living in the Republic, primarily in the areas of social security and education. In a communique, the Ministry said it was not aware of any discrimination in education. The fact that there are 1,000 more Slovaks studying in the Czech Republic than Czechs in Slovakia testifies to a completely opposite situation, it said. (BBC, 05/31/93).
Jun 1993 In a statement to CTK, the Democratic Alliance of Slovaks (DAS) living in the Czech Republic voiced concern over the Slovak Ambassador's recent statement. It was an intentional provocation aimed at hampering relations between Slovaks who had decided to live jointly with Czechs in the Czech state, DAS representatives stressed. They said Czech Slovaks had chosen the Czech Republic as their homeland voluntarily, without economic and political pressure, and that they resolutely rejected Slovak politicians' attempts to speak for them.(BBC, 06/04/93).
Sep 1993 The Czech Constitutional and Foreign Parliamentary Committees approved a draft amendment to the Law on acquiring and losing Czech citizenship. The proposed amendment allows the Slovaks living on Czech territory to choose Czech citizenship by December 31, 1993. However, it said they would have to fulfil certain conditions such as living in the Czech Republic for two years, and having no criminal record. (CTK National News Wire, 09/01/93).
Nov 1993 Czech-Slovak relations have not come to an end, but changed from internal to foreign ones, developing and reflecting the two nations' interests and needs in a better way. Slovak Premier V. Meciar said, "in Slovakia we live side by side with many citizens of Czech origin. Many of them hold important positions in education, science and other fields... We respect them," adding he is hopeful that the Slovak approach will be matched by the Czech attitude towards Slovaks in the Czech Republic. (CTK National News Wire, 11/29/93).
Mar 1994 The Community of Slovaks in the Czech Republic has passed new rules according to which all the previously independent regional communities will merge with the umbrella organization. The Community of Slovaks is the largest organization of compatriots in the Czech Republic with approximately 400 members. (BBC, 03/10/94).
Jul 1994 "Czech representatives do not want to recognize the fact that ethnic minorities live in their country. Although some 300,000 Czech nationals have declared they are of Slovak origin, the minority does not exist "de jure," Chairman of the Association of Slovaks in the Czech Republic P. Luptak says. (CTK national News Wire, 07/07/94). "We are threatened by assimilation and if we do not defend ourselves this may happen within a generation," he stresses, adding that "Slovak parents prefer to send their children to Czech schools in order to avoid troubles." A forced assimilation of Slovaks is under way in Hungary as well, says Michael Hrivnak, Chairman of the Association of Slovak Writers and Artists in Hungary, tells the Daily "Slovenska Republica." Only less than 1/10 of the 120,000 Slovaks (allegedly) living in Hungary declare themselves Slovaks, Hornak says.
Aug 1994 As the new terms for acquiring citizenship in the Czech Republic have been in force since July 1, the time of advantages and privileges for Slovaks is over, and the Slovaks living in the Czech Republic have become foreigners, the daily "Rzeczpolita" said. (08/02/94). Most Slovaks in the Czech Republic believes CzechoSlovakia's disintegration was caused by politicians, largely the Czech ones, the Daily says. Disunity between Slovaks in the Czech Republic is apparent: nine officially existing organizations are often not able to agree or stop attacking each other in the Czech press, the Daily says. The Union of Slovaks living in the Czech Republic protests against "chauvinist anti-Czech attacks by some Slovak politicians," says a declaration given to CTK by the Union's Chairman, Jan Mlynarik. The declaration points to the statements of Jan Slota, Chairman of the Slovak National Party (SNS). Slota reportedly said that during the existence of the joint CzechoSlovak state Slovakia was a "mere Czech colony, a suppressed and exploited country and the Slovaks were a nation without identity." "It is a historical lie," said Mlynarik, adding that a "reasonable person cannot polemise with such a statement."(CTK National News Wire, 08/04/94). A Protocol was signed between the education ministries of Slovakia and the Czech Republic, allowing over 60 Slovak students to study free in the Czech Republic next year instead of the original 50, Czech Education Minister Ivan Pilip told CTK. Pilip met his Slovak counterpart L. Harach to discuss the future of Czech-Slovak educational exchange. Forty Czech students will go to Slovakia, but the total cost of their education will be the same as that of the Slovaks in the Czech Republic, Pilip said. (CTK National News Wire, 08/15/94).
Jun 1995 The Union of Slovaks in the Czech Republic is worried about the ban by Slovak Culture Minister Ivan Hudec to hang the Czech state flag and emblem on the Czech Centre in Bratislava, Chairman Jan Mlynarik said. The Union is also worried about the lowering of the state subsidy to ethnic minority press, especially Czech in Slovakia. He also said the Slovak Institute in Prague was not restricted in placing the state flag and emblem on its residence and that Slovak ethnic minority press in the Czech Republic had received a state subsidy amounting 6 million crowns ($230,000). (CTK National News Wire, 06/30/95).
Sep 15, 1995 The Union of Slovaks in the Czech Republic has said it is outraged by not being invited to Bratislava to attend a debate about the status of Slovaks living outside Slovakia. The Union of Slovaks Living in the Czech Republic considers the Slovak government's decision not to invite representatives of Czech Slovaks to Bratislava to attend a discussions on the law on compatriots "outrageous and discriminatory". (Source: BBC Worldwide Monitoring, 9/18/95)
Feb 21, 1996 The parliamentary Petition Committee approved a proposal for the requirement that applicants for Czech citizenship have a clean criminal record for the previous five years to be removed from the citizenship law for Slovaks permanently resident in the Czech Republic since 1992. The proposal would only apply to Slovak applicants who had not been sentenced for more than two years in prison or for deportation. Also today, Parliament rejected the bill on the state language and the use of minority languages submitted by the opposition Communist Party of Bohemia and Moravia (KSCM), with 73 of the 103 deputies present voting against the bill. The KSCM bill proposed that only Czech be used in official contact and in broadcasting. Had this bill passed it could have created great tensions between the Slovak minority and the Czech Majority. (Source: BBC Worldwide Monitoring, 2/22/96 and 2/23/96)
Dec 3, 1996 Periodicals of the five national minorities living in the Czech Republic will receive state subsidies amounting to 24 million Czech crowns next year. The biggest subsidy will go to Slovak minority's media. (Source: BBC Worldwide Monitoring, 12/5/96)
Jun 25, 1997 Slovakia and the Czech Republic signed a treaty which will shorten their border from 285 kilometres to 251.8 kilometres and will result in the exchange of 452 hectares of land. This land exchange will affect the villages of U Sabotu, which will now be inside Slovakia, and Sidonie, which will change over to the Czech side. (Source: BBC Worldwide Monitoring, 6/27/97)
Oct 28, 1997 Slovak Speaker Ivan Gasparovic called on the Czech and Slovak governments to start talks on the Slovak minority in the Czech Republic. He was reacting to a recent statement by the Association of Slovaks in the Czech Republic that the half a million Slovaks in the country had no representation on top-level Czech bodies, [that] the Czech Republic had no policy for Slovak education, which had been left to private initiative, and that representatives of the association had been followed by the Czech secret service. The association also said the Czech Republic had not yet passed a law on minorities although its constitution said it should have one, and the country had also not ratified international conventions on minority protection. (Source: BBC Worldwide Monitoring, 10/30/97)
Dec 1, 1997 Slovak and Czech presidents Michal Kovac and Vaclav Havel agreed in an interview for the December edition of the monthly magazine 'Slovak Questions', which is published for Slovaks living in the Czech Republic, that relations between the two countries had become frosty in the last few years. Kovac says he sees the main cause in the fact that the two countries had undergone a different political development and mutual relations were subordinated too much to division of federal property. Havel said that the entry of Slovakia into the EU and NATO would be beneficial for both countries. Both presidents praised the importance of the Czech community in Slovakia and the Slovak community in the Czech Republic. (Source: BBC Worldwide Monitoring, 12/3/97)
Jan 25, 1998 The Slovak Communist Party (KSS) has sharply protested against the participation of Czech President Vaclav Havel in the summit of 11 Central European presidents in Levoca, east Slovakia, on 23rd-24th January. In a statement issued today, the KSS labels Havel "a liar and a modern dictator", who "as former Czechsolovak president - caused immense economic damages to our country and the subsequent unemployment growth by liquidating the [local arms industry]. The party calls on all Slovak citizens to organize public rallies in protest against Havel's presence at the summit. (Source: BBC Worldwide Monitoring, 1/24/98)
Feb 4, 1998 Slovak President Michal Kovac's son was arrested in the Czech Republic on the basis of an international search warrant issued by Interpol in 1994. Kovac will be extradited to the Munich Prosecutor's Office to provide testimony concerning fraud charges. (Source: BBC Worldwide Monitoring, 2/6/98)
Nov 29, 1998 The new Czech government sent out positive signals to Slovakia and it is able to hold discussions with Slovakia' s representatives any time. The commission for federal property division should start its activities by the end of the year because many property problems between Slovakia and the Czech Republic have not been solved yet. The most pressing problem being the 27.4 billion dollar debt that Slovakia has to the Czech Republic. (Source: BBC Worldwide Monitoring, 11/29/98)
Dec 22, 1998 Interior Minister Vaclav Grulich approved an executive measure which will allow Czechs living in Slovakia and Slovaks living in the Czech Republic, who - following the break-up of CzechoSlovakia in 1993 - had to give up their original citizenship, to now apply for dual citizenship. (Source: BBC Worldwide Monitoring, 12/22/98)
Mar 12, 1999 The Czech Republic, Hungary and Poland joined NATO today. (Source: BBC Worldwide Monitoring, 3/15/99)
May 28, 1999 The Heart of Nations two-day festival of nations and ethnic minorities, held under the auspices of Czech and Slovak culture ministers, Pavel Dostal and Milan Knazko began in Prague today. (Source: BBC Worldwide Monitoring, 5/28/99)
Jun 3, 1999 At a meeting of representatives of the Slovak community in the Czech Republic, Jan Mylnarik, the chairman of the Union of Slovaks spoke about two of the Slovak communities biggest problems: 1)The non-existence of Slovak representation in parliament, 2)The lack of mother-tongue Slovak education. (Source: BBC Worldwide Monitoring, 6/5/99)
Jul 9, 1999 The Chamber of Deputies passed a law which makes it easier to receive Czech citizenship for persons who were citizens of federal CzechoSlovakia and now have Slovak citizenship, but have lived in the Czech Republic since 31st December 1992. The law, which is to become valid on the day of its promulgation, is yet to be discussed in the upper house. The amendment includes Slovak citizens who lived in the Czech Republic since 31st December 1992 without a permanent residence, as well as Czechs who lived in Slovakia in the same period but did not have Slovak citizenship. The latter will be allowed to hold dual citizenship after being granted Slovak citizenship. (Source: BBC Worldwide Monitoring, 7/9/99)

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