A Divorce in The Heart of Europe

Czech and Slovak leaders opt for two separate republics

Less than three years after Czechoslovakia's "velvet revolution," the country announced the preliminary terms of a "velvet divorce." Slovak Vladimir Meciar and Czech Vaclav Klaus, whose parties gained pluralities in their respective republics in elections earlier this month, agreed last week to form an interim federal government. It will function chiefly as a liquidation committee for the 74-year-old state, and by Sept. 30 the details creating separate Czech and Slovak republics should be ironed out.

The agreement came in a fourth marathon negotiating session between the two in the Slovak capital Bratislava. For Klaus the split means being Prime Minister of...

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