Ukrainian issue dominates Gauck´s visit to CzechRep - press


06.05.2014 10:50

Berlin - The German media commenting on President Joachim Gauck´s visit to the Czech Republic today focus on Gauck´s words about the Ukrainian developments and they state that the Sudeten German issue did not play an important role on the first day of Gauck´s three-day trip on Monday.


Německý prezident Joachim Gauck (uprostřed), který přicestoval na státní návštěvu, se setkal 5. května v Praze s českým prezidentem Milošem Zemanem. Vlevo je Gauckova partnerka Daniela Schadtová. ČTK Doležal Michal

The German media also highlight Czech President Milos Zeman´s statement about Prague´s ambition to be the "gearbox" of the European Union, in which Germany is the economic motor.

In this connection, German dailies point to the Czech Republic´s new pro-European orientation since after the October 2013 general election.

"Wherever President Joachim Gauck appears these days, the conflict in Ukraine is the most important topic on the agenda. Nothing has changed in this respect during his state visit to the Czech Republic," writes the daily Die Welt.

Like other media, Die Welt points to Gauck´s appeal on Russia to cooperate with the Organisation for the Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) in solving the tension in Ukraine.

Ahead of Gauck´s Czech trip, the German media speculated that he might touch on the post-war transfer of ethnic (Sudeten) Germans from Czechoslovakia.

When assessing the first day of Gauck´s visit, the media only mention his words at a joint luncheon with the Czech upper house chairman about a thousand-year common history of Czechs and Germans, which was cut by World War Two and its consequences.

The Munich-based daily Abendzeitung writes that it expects the Sudeten German transfer and the Benes Decrees to be discussed during Gauck´s stay in the Czech Republic.

"In his speech at Prague´s Charles University, he will speak about an approach to the common history," Abendzeitung writes.

Under the decrees issued by the then president Edvard Benes, ethnic Germans, except for those who suffered under Nazism, were stripped of property and Czechoslovak citizenship, which enabled their transfer from the country.

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