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Phrase used to describe the breakup of Czechoslovakia (the Czechoslovak Federal Republic, CSFR). Alludes to the Velvet Revolution. Led to the creation of the Czech Republic (CR) and Slovak Republic (SR), whose prime ministers were Vaclav Klaus and Vladimir Meciar respectively. Both were also highly involved in engineering the split. This was a governmental decision; no decision in Czech or Czechoslovak history to date has been based on a referendum.

However, this is not to say there was no popular support for the split - many Slovaks wanted to taste independence, and many Czechs saw the Slovaks as an economic drain on Czechs. The Slovaks had the strongest interest in the split, however - but this is not saying much. Historian Libor Vykoupil is cited (unfortunately with no citation of his sources) in one article(1) as saying that in 1992, Slovak support for independence was only 10%. On the other hand, there certainly was a great deal of friction between the two states, caused in part by years of centralized rule from Prague preceding the young federative organization of the state, and expressing itself in things as silly as tremendous debates on calling the state "Ceskoslovensko" or "Cesko-slovensko." This went down in history as "the hyphen war" - pomlckova valka.

The immediate cause for the split was the discussions between Klaus and Meciar following the 1992 elections. Vykoupil states: "Vaclav Klaus and Vladimir Meciar... met immediately after the 1992 elections and suddenly during the negotiations that were to set the new parameters for federal co-existence, so many points of friction became evident that in the end, all that came out of it were negotiations on how to split."

The CSFR ended its existence on December 31st, 1992.


Many thanks to toalight and tdent for editorial comments that helped me to clean up this w/u.

Sources: (1) http://www.radio.cz/cz/clanek/35633

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