Kavan trip to Vienna heralds fresh start for Czech-Austria relations

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It hasn't been a very happy few weeks for Czech-Austrian relations. The Czech-Austrian border was blockaded recently by crowds of Austrian demonstrators, furious at Prague's decision to launch the Temelin nuclear power plant despite Austrian fears over safety. The stand-off between Vienna and Prague went all the way to the top - senior officials, including the Czech Prime Minister Milos Zeman, said they wouldn't talk to the Austrians until the blockades were dispersed. Well, the demonstrators have now gone home, and Czech-Austrian relations are beginning to return to normal. On Tuesday Czech Foreign Minister Jan Kavan attended a signing ceremony in Vienna, sealing an agreement for compensation for Czechs forced to work for Austrian firms during the Second World War. Ray Furlong covered the visit for the BBC, and earlier today we asked him to assess the significance of Mr Kavan's trip to Vienna.

Author: Ray Furlong
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