Final Word from Tuesday, January 7, 2003

Two readers accused Sen. Josef Zieleniec of trying to rewrite history with his comments about the split of Czechoslovakia. It's not true, they said, that Slovaks would have largely voted for independence. Ivan Gabal of Gabal Analysis & Consulting said he dealt with public-opinion surveys at the Castle, and later on a private basis, and found that support in Slovakia for the split was initially only 15-20% and remained well below 40%. The other reader said 30%. The truth, Gabal said, is that ODS and HZDS were behind the split. Zieleniec failed twice, Gabal said: First, as ODS foreign minister at the time, and second, by refusing to face the facts today. Culture Minister Pavel Dostál told F1 radio last night that Czech politicians were partly to blame for the split but that the Czech media played the biggest role in creating the myth that Slovaks wanted separation.


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