Stoiber: abolition of Benes decrees "not condition" for Czech EU entry
Germany's conservative candidate for chancellor, Edmund Stoiber, has said the abolition of the so-called Benes decrees is not a condition for Czech admission to the European Union, but the two issues are connected. Mr Stoiber, leader of the opposition Christian Social Union party, said he hoped the Czech Republic would start dealing with history more openly after the elections. Some two and a half million ethnic Germans were expelled from Czechoslovakia in 1945, under decrees signed by President Eduard Benes. Politicians in Germany and Austria have called for the decrees to be abolished before the Czech Republic is allowed to join the EU.