New regional authorities bid to decentralise Czech state

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On November 12th, the Czech people will be asked to elect members to 14 new regional authorities, part of a general move towards reorganising the highly centralised Czech state. Critics say this decentralisation is long overdue: Communist-era regional authorities were abolished in 1990, and replaced with eight regions with little or no authority of their own. At present most decisions are taken in Prague and passed down to the local authorities. What little power local people do have, is restricted to the elected town and village councils. But all that's about to change, as Professor Olga Vidlakova, a leading figure in the effort to decentralise Czech government, explained to Rob Cameron: