Wednesday, 29 July 2020

Czechia to be country's short official name, top politicians agree

15 April 2016

Prague, April 14 (CTK) - The Czech Republic should also use its shortened name Czechia abroad, the country's top constitutional officials agreed yesterday, Foreign Minister Lubomir Zaoralek said after the meeting held at Prague Castle.
"We agreed with the prime minister (Bohuslav Sobotka) that the government would confirm this decision," Zaoralek said.
Apart from Sobotka and Zaoralek, the meeting was attended by the heads of the two houses of parliament, Jan Hamacek and Milan Stech (all Social Democrats, CSSD), Defence Minister Martin Stropnicky (ANO) and President Milos Zeman.
The Czech Republic will formally apply for the adding of its shortened name to the United Nations Geographical Names database that contains the official names of countries and cities in six languages (Arabic, Chinese, English, French, Russian and Spanish).
As the country has had no official short name, its name was sometimes deformed or mangled. The approval of an official short name should prevent this from happening.
"It is not good if a country does not have clearly defined symbols or if it even does not clearly say what its name is," Zaoralek said earlier yesterday.
He said the name "Czechia" unfortunately has not become widely popular, although there seems to be no other alternative.
President Milos Zeman has already been using the English translation Czechia in his speeches. During his visit to Israel in 2013, he said Czechia was shorter and had a better sound than the unfriendly official name, the Czech Republic.
Regional Development Minister Karla Slechtova rejected the name Czechia earlier yesterday.
"I do't want our country to be mixed up with Chechnya, we bought the logo Czech Republic for a billion," Slechtova said on Twitter.
The small political party Moravians considers the agreement on the term Czechia anti-constitutional because it is an attack on the identity of Moravians, their leader Ondrej Hysek said.
He said this name associates only Czechs and ignores people living the other eastern part of the country, Moravians and Silesians.
The Czech Republic consists of two main parts, the western Bohemia and the eastern Moravia. Silesia is a region situated in southwestern Poland, a small part of southeastern Germany and a small part of the northern Czech Republic. The adjective Czech may concern either the Czech Republic or only Bohemia.
The Institute of the Czech Language of the Academy of Sciences said the correct one-word name of the country is Czechia.
Zaoralek said the benefits of adding the shortened name to the United Nations list would be seen at sports and other international events and it would help the promotion of the country.

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