Czech Republic/Liechtenstein: All's well between Prague and Vaduz

9 September 2009 – Presseurop Mladá Fronta DNES

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After more than 60 years of political conflict, the Czech Republic and the Principality of Liechtenstein have established diplomatic relations, a first step towards the resolution of a territorial dispute, which dates back to the end of WWII and the confiscation of lands belonging to Liechtenstein's royal family. “Liechtenstein was the only country in the world, which had yet to recognize the Czech Republic,”reports Mladá Fronta DNES, which explains that the family of Prince Hans-Adam II had 1,600 km2 of land in the Czech Republic (ten times the surface area of the principality), and 13 castles, two of which have now been listed as UNESCO world heritage sites. As the Prague daily points out, the castles were nationalized in 1945 by Czechoslovakia's Beneš Decrees, which expropriated and deported Sudeten Germans. In a joint statement, representatives of both countries have announced that the “question of the past will now be examined by a commission of historians,” however, this will not prevent Vaduz from continuing its legal battle to recover the lands confiscated by Prague. In conclusion, MF DNESnotes that the mutual recognition of the two countries is not without a practical purpose, because "it was a necessary condition for the signature of a bi-lateral taxation agreement."

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