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Czechs still owing 368 hectares to Poland

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Prague, Dec 12 (CTK) – The Czech Republic still has not returned to Poland any of the 368 hectares of land to resolve the territorial dispute lasting over 50 years, but the Interior Ministry has earmarked some new plots for the compensation, Hana Mala, from the ministry’s press department, has told CTK.

The ministry is now waiting for the position of the municipalities to which the plots relate, Mala said.

The government is yet to approve the possible transfer of the land.

Czech governments have been trying to solve the land debt for over 20 years.

Mala said the Interior Ministry had earmarked the land, but due to the recent return of property to churches it had to find some new plots.

In the past, Poland refused a Czech government’s offer of financial compensation.

“Poland is only ready to accept a territorial settlement as the only solution,” Mala said.

Earlier this week, daily Mlada fronta Dnes carried the information that a forest near Chrastava, north Bohemia, with the area of 52 hectares was one of the earmarked plots.

The local town hall will vote about the release of the plot on December 14.

The Interior Ministry has declined to comment on the individual proposed plots, awaiting the replies by the mayors of the municipalities in question.

“We feel very annoyed that some of the mayors are expressing their views through the media,” Mala said.

The territorial debt arose at the close of the 1950s.

After World War Two, Poland raised some territorial claims to Czechoslovakia. After an intervention by Soviet leader Joseph Stalin, it agreed with the anchoring of the existing border. However, it set the condition that the border line had to be maximally shortened and straightened.

On the basis of an agreement passed in 1958, the Czechoslovak-Polish border was straightened and shortened by 80 kilometres. This was associated with 85 changes in the course of the border line.

When the losses and gains of both countries were compared, it turned out that the former Czechoslovakia gained roughly 368 hectares.

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