Czechia wins top backing but opposition voiced to shortened name for Czech Republic
Czechia in English, and other variants of the name Česko in other languages, has taken a big step forward towards becoming the shorthand name for the Czech Republic at official meetings and international sporting events in the future.
President Miloš Zeman’s support was far from a surprise. He already created something of a shock when during an official visit to Israel in 2013 he voiced support for the use of Czechia.
“I use the term Czechia because it’s shorter and not so cold like the term Czech Republic.”
But although top officials appear to be reading from the same page, and all saying Czechia, a battle over the shortened name for the Czech Republic, or even if such a name needs to be adopted, appears to be brewing up.
The Czechia proposal must still go to government and win sufficient support there, and there are already signs that the favoured option sticks in the moths of some ministers.
Cechnya is the troubled oil rich Russian province in the North Caucasus known for a series of wars of independence against Moscow. Terrorist attacks, such as the Boston Marathon bombings, have already created confusion with the Czech Republic in the past.
The views of the non-party minister appear to be shared by ANO leader Andrej Babiš, the head of the party which nominated Šlechtová to her post.
“It is certainly not a good idea. I think that we are known as the Czech Republic, though for some further away its still rather often Czechoslovakia in spite of the fact we are now the Czech Republic.”
On the opposition side of the political fence, TOP 09 leader Miroslav Kalousek says he can live with the Czechia name but leading members of the cente-right Civic Democrats say they are opposed.
And leading Moravians have also spoken out against a name that appears to emphasize the Bohemian half of the country. Foreign Minister Lubomír Zaorálek says his mission is a simple one: to sell the Czech Republic and a shortened name is simply part of that package.
The submission of the shortened name should be made to the United Nations and the process there could in theory be wrapped up within a few months.