Augsburg - Bavarian Labour Minister Emilie Mueller today condemned the Czech Benes Decrees at the 65th Sudeten German Landsmannshaft meeting today, but Czech Prime Minister Bohuslav Sobotka said in reaction he can see no reason to challenge the decrees.
V německém Augsburgu začal 7. června 65. sjezd sudetských Němců. Bavorská státní ministryně pro sociální věci Emilie Müllerová (na snímku), která má na starosti i záležitosti sudetských Němců, na úvod sjezdu prohlásila, že existence Benešových dekretů brání zhojení starých ran a poškozuje vztahy v Evropě. ČTK Stříhavka Jakub
"The government can naturally see no reason for any challenging of Benes Decrees and for the opening of the issue," Sobotka told CTK.
The past should not complicate the present Czech excellent relations with both Germany and Bavaria, he said.
Sobotka said the attitude to the past is clearly stated in the Czech-German Declaration.
Mueller, who is also in charge of Sudeten German affairs in the Bavarian government, said old wounds cannot heal due to the decrees, which harm relations in Europe.
A new generation of Czechs brings hope that this chapter of Czech-German history can be overcome, she said.
Mueller said a new chapter in relations between Czechs and Sudeten Germans opened after the visits of former Czech prime minister to Munich and Bavarian Minister-President Horst Seehofer to Prague.
She said the Benes Decrees were unjust and remain unjust.
An opinion poll released earlier this year showed that a half of Czechs are of the view that the Benes Decree should be kept in force in the future, while 14 percent would like to abolish them.
The Benes Decrees are legal regulations issued by Czechoslovak President Edvard Benes in exile in London in 1940-1945 and after his return home.
Some of the decrees provided for the confiscation of the property of collaborators, traitors, ethnic Germans and Hungarians and stripped them of Czechoslovak citizenship, except for those who themselves suffered under the Nazis. The decrees formed a basis for the transfer of the former groups from Czechoslovakia, though none of them directly dealt with it.