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Švehla, Marek

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4 articles of this author have been cited in the European Press Review so far.

Respekt - Czech Republic | 30/07/2012

Marek Švehla on the Czechs and Slovaks 20 years after partition

Czech and Slovak politicians commemorated on Sunday the 20th anniversary of the division of Czechoslovakia at a ceremony held at the foot of the Velká Javořina mountain, on the border between the two countries. In the liberal weekly Respekt, Marek Švehla describes the consequences of the partition from the Czech perspective: "The end of Czechoslovakia was a logical step in historical terms. It was preceded by the collapse of the Austro-Hungarian empire and the expulsion of the Germans. It was a move that aimed to realise the dream of Czech sovereignty. But that sovereignty had many weak points. …Regardless of all their speeches about how well the Czechs get on with the Slovaks, the two countries are pursuing very different courses in foreign policy. While Slovakia has inextricably linked itself to the fate of the Eurozone the Czechs don't believe their partners, they wallow in a sense of their own uniqueness and overestimate their power. This is all an indication that they haven't really grown up yet."

Respekt - Czech Republic | 27/01/2010

Slovakia accepts Guantánamo prisoners

Slovakia has agreed to take in three prisoners from the US prison camp Guantánamo. The liberal weekly Respekt writes that now the onus is on the Czech Republic to follow suit: "The Czech Republic is now faced with the question of how far its much touted sympathy for the US and President Obama really extends. ... The Czechs could say they are in the clear because their relations with America are already fine. But in politics it's also true that when an ally needs help you can't just sit back and do nothing. And there is also a certain logic to helping in this case. Czech conservatives never tire of saying that relations with America are a pillar of our foreign policy, and pay more attention to these relations than they do to those with the European Union. But [social democratic opposition leader Jiří] Paroubek has also recently been stressing his support for US President Obama at every possible occasion. Now it is time to act."

Respekt - Czech Republic | 22/12/2008

What's happened to Czech humour?

The Czech media recently complained about a French TV satire programme that made fun of the Czechs and their upcoming EU presidency. They're laughing at our expense, they claimed. The liberal weekly Respekt criticises this attitude and writes that instead of complaining they should put more thought into reviving the Czech sense of humour."For some time now it has been claimed that there is a special brand of Czech humour, slightly dark, slightly cynical, slightly self-ironic. A glance at the recent past, however, makes you wonder whether this is just a myth. Not a single Czech station has a satirical show in its programme, while the Germans, notorious for their lack of humour, have a number of satirical shows. If it wasn't for the Internet things would look very gloomy as far as Czech humour is concerned."

Respekt - Czech Republic | 29/04/2008

Brussels to settle dispute over Prague's national library

Prague's municipal authorities are still playing for time in the dispute over star architect Jan Kaplický's futuristic design for a new Czech national library, Marek Švehla complains. Švehla reports that Mayor of Prague Pavel Bém's initial euphoria has cooled down considerably and he is now distancing himself from the project. "The City Council first passed on the hot potato to the ministry of culture, then to the competition authorities - to clarify whether the designer of such a project is also allowed to build it. The competition authorities are now passing the case on to the European Commission. This is like a bad joke: the very party [ODS, right-wing party] that never stops complaining about how Brussels is encroaching on national powers is now letting the European Commission have the last say about the construction of a building in Prague."

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