On January 1, 1993, the Federal Republic of Czechoslovakia disappeared and was replaced by the Czech Republic and the Slovak Republic.
30 years ago, the Federal Republic of Czechoslovakia was dissolved and replaced by two independent and separate states: the Czech Republic, or Czechia, and the Slovak Republic, or Slovakia. Somewhat unusually, as our records point out, this divorce was smooth, but unenthusiastic.
On July 25, 1992, the journalist Geneviève Asselin presented, on the program Le Téléjournal – L'édition du dimanche, a report explaining how the division of the Federal Republic of Czechoslovakia into two states became possible. independent.
Report by journalist Geneviève Asselin on the history of Czechoslovakia
In 1989, one communist regime in Central and Eastern Europe collapsed.
In mid- November 1989, the communist government of the Czechoslovakian state cracked, then collapsed under popular pressure.
This revolution, which we will call velvet, because it is taking place peacefully, will however release nationalist tensions among the two peoples who form the country: the Czechs and the Slovaks .
For decades, Slovaks have felt they are at a disadvantage.
The disappearance of the communist regime allows them to express their exasperation with the federal contract that governs the Czechoslovak state.
Slovaks fear moreover to be disadvantaged by the transition to a market economy which would mainly benefit the Czechs.
During the first half of 1992, the discontent of the Slovaks paralyzed the Federal Republic of Czechoslovakia.
“The two big winners of the 1992 elections were Vladimir Mečiar and Václav Klaus […] Their victories mean, for all intents and purposes, the end of the federation. »
—Michel Cormier, October 9, 1995
“Otto is retired. […] He is against this separation which for him is in fact only a story of politicians. »
— Michel Morin, November 15, 1992
On June 6, 1992, the Czech and Slovak nationalist forces won the elections in their respective territories.
What is however surprising, as our archives show, is that the process of splitting the Federal Republic of Czechoslovakia does not arouse enthusiasm among the population.
Report by correspondent Michel Morin on the state of public opinion on the eve of the division of the Czech Federal Republic
A report by correspondent Michel Morin, presented on the program Le Dimanche on November 15, 1992, shows that public opinion is strongly divided on the separation of the two peoples.
Le Dimanche is hosted by Jean-François Lépine.
Opinion polls indicate that only 37% of Slovaks want sovereignty.
For their part, barely 50% of Czechs want a split.
Report by correspondent Michel Cormier on the creation of the Czech Republic and Slovakia
A report by correspondent Michel Cormier, broadcast on the program Le Point on 9 October 1995, confirms that the idea of independence was not in the majority in 1992 among the Czechs or the Slovaks.
Even if they were victorious, the Czech and Slovak nationalists only got 35% of the vote.
The account of the events proposed by Michel Cormier shows that it is above all the will of the Czech and Slovak nationalist leaders, Václav Klaus and Vladimir Mečiar, which explains the creation of the Czech Republic and Slovakia.
On the evening of the elections of June 6, 1992, Václav Klaus telephoned Vladimir Mečiar.
At the end of the conversation, Václav Klaus comes to the conclusion that the break of the Czechs with the Slovaks is the only possible option.
A few days later, a very difficult negotiation with Václav Klaus convinced Vladimir Mečiar that the independence of Slovakia was also the only possible scenario.
From then on, the two nationalist leaders were rush to finalize the divorce.
They even turn a deaf ear to a petition from a million Czech and Slovak citizens who are calling for a referendum on the question of independence.
The liquidation of the Czech Federal Republic took only four months and went smoothly.
More than 30 years after going their separate ways, Czechia and Slovakia remain on very good terms and show a lot of cooperation, especially in their foreign policy.
This proximity also forces many to wonder if one day their divorce will not be annulled, so that the two countries marry in a new marriage.
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