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PM: Czechia to be only short alternative to Czech Republic

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Prague, April 18 (CTK) – Czechia is not to replace the Czech Republic completely, but it will be just its shorter alternative, PM Bohuslav Sobotka (Social Democrats, CSSD) said after a government meeting on Monday, in reaction to criticism by Regional Development Minister Karla Slechtova (ANO).

He added that the change would not threaten the drawing of European subsidies, which Slechtova feared.

Some of the ministers called this debate useless.

Foreign Minister Lubomir Zaoralek (CSSD), who did not attend the government meeting on Monday, is to submit a written report on the history of the proposal for an official one-word name of the country to the government.

“The Czech Republic is and remains ours. We will receive material about Czechia,” Slechtova wrote on Twitter after the cabinet’s meeting.

She said previously she did not identify with the name Czechia.

“We have used the destination logo ‘The Czech Republic – Land of Stories’ since 2012. About 1.1 billion crowns have been spent on the introduction and communication of the logo in 2013-2015,” she said.

On the contrary, Deputy PM Pavel Belobradek (Christian Democrats, KDU-CSL) supports the codification of a short geographical name of the country. It means that the Czech Republic will have a one-word name on maps and in other unofficial materials, he said.

Slechtova previously proposed on Twitter that a referendum be held on a short name of the country.

Industry and Trade Minister Jan Mladek (CSSD) said he did not expect the one-word name to have a considerable impact on foreign trade.

“In my opinion, the influence of Czechia on export will not be dramatic since this is just a translation of the already used ‘Cesko’ into English,” Mladek said.

He added on Twitter that the whole debate seemed to him like Shakespeare’s Much Ado About Nothing.

The country’s top constitutional officials, including Sobotka and President Milos Zeman, agreed on the need to use the shortened name Czechia at Prague Castle, the presidential seat, last week.

After it is approved by the government, the Foreign Ministry will apply for the adding of the only correct shortened name of the Czech Republic to the United Nations databases.

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