BRATISLAVA, Czechoslovakia, Oct. 5—
Slovaks and Czechs are awaiting Jan. 1, when this
country is to split in two, with regret, resignation and a remarkable
absence of animosity.

Like Mr. Havel, the two Premiers are unhappy about the dissolution.

“I repeat again and again that I am very sorry that this is happening,”
Mr. Klaus said in an interview in Prague. Bohuslav Geci, Mr. Meciar’s
spokesman, said in Bratislava, the Slovak capital, “Mr. Meciar was one
of those who wanted to save the federation, but as a functioning
partnership, not with one superior partner and one inferior.” ‘It’s a
Sin to Break It Up’

Random interviews in streets, beer halls, churches and other public
places showed much regret and only rare support for the impending break.
Most Czechs and Slovaks seemed resigned.

“I’m not happy about it,” said Marek Blazej, a 19-year-old student
sitting with his girlfriend on a rail fence in Lanzhot, a village on the
Czech side of the Morava River, which is soon to become an
international border. “We were together for so long, it’s a sin to break
it up. For so many years we have helped each other, and now we have to
worry about hatred arising.” ‘Regretting It Will Not Help’

In a poll taken for the Government last month, only 37 percent of
Slovaks and 36 percent of Czechs said they would vote for a split in a
referendum, but more than 80 percent said they considered a break

Emphasizing the Catholic Church’s historic identification with Slovak
nationalism, the priest, the Rev. Irenej Ciutti, said: “Without doubt,
all people feel having our own state is a right. Those believing in God
feel it is a God-given right.”

Father Ciutti, who is 33 years old, said the Catholic Church did not
want to be involved in daily politics but continued: “It is my duty to
inform people of what religion says about rights and duties. The people
have a right to hear that to have their own state is a God-given right.”

But the priest also said that people on both banks of the Morava had
lived so closely with one another that they could be considered as “one
people” of “two nations.” Their closeness makes Czechs and Slovaks
“disoriented” as separation approaches, he said.

Source (October 9, 1992): http://www.nytimes.com/1992/10/09/world/at-fork-in-road-czechoslovaks-fret.html

It was you damn Catholics who wanted 2 separate states, after all! :D


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