Czech Republic. According to
countryaah, Prime Minister Stanislav Gross was asked
at the beginning of the year by the country's
anti-corruption authority to explain how he, with his
salary, was able to pay for the luxury apartment in Prague
that he bought five years earlier. Social Democrat Gross
found it difficult to give credible explanations, and the
widespread media attention about the business created
problems for the government, whose opinion figures fell. The
Christian Democrats demanded that Gross resign, but he
refused, prompting the Christian Democratic Union to leave
Gross passed a vote of no confidence in early April by
the opposition Communist Party abstaining, but the Freedom
Union refused to continue in a government supported by the
Communists. Gross was therefore forced to resign when his
own Social Democrats agreed with his coalition partners to
reform the government. The new Prime Minister was appointed
Deputy Party Leader of the Social Democrats Jiří Paroubek,
who was approved by 101 votes to 99 in a vote of confidence
in Parliament in May. Paroubek had previously been Deputy
Mayor of Prague and served in the government for a short
period as Minister of Regional Development.
The previous contradictions between the government and
President Václav Klaus also continued during the new prime
minister. Klaus opposed the ratification of the EU's new
constitution, while Paroubek wanted to hold a referendum on
the issue. They both ended up in conflict over the so-called
Sudanese who were persecuted and driven to Germany and
Austria at the end of the Second World War. At a visit to
Austria in July, Paroubek explained that Sudanese who could
prove that they opposed the Nazis would receive compensation
from the Czech Republic. President Klaus was upset and
explained that Paroubek had become "completely crazy".
Another quarrel erupted after some 80 people were injured
when a large police force used tear gas and water cannons to
disperse a rave party. The prime minister defended the
police's methods, while the president condemned them.
At the end of the year, the Czech schools launched a
project aimed at making the young people aware of the
communist era in the country. A report had shown that the
communist era was rarely mentioned in school history lessons
and that young Czechs knew very little about the country's
history during the second half of the 20th century.
Documentary films would be shown and schools were invited to
invite people persecuted during communism. The information
campaign, which was to be carried out by a human rights
organization, was criticized by the Communist Party as
"unbalanced" and "unilateral".
The reform process that began with the appointment of
Mihail Gorbachov as First Secretary of the Russian Communist
Party brought about changes in Czechoslovakia. Despite heavy
reprisals, the hostile demonstrations continued in 1989 and
led to a crisis before the regime.
The government was forced to negotiate with the Citizens'
Forum, a union of several opposition groups. Parliament
adopted, inter alia, the abolition of the Communist Party
(CCP) leadership monopoly. In late 1989, a provisional
government was formed with a majority of non-communists.
The Citizens' Forum in December 1989 accused the CCP of
placing their members on key posts. About 200,000 people
gathered in Prague to demand stronger representation in the
government of opposition people. Gustav Husak resigned as
president of the federation and was replaced by playwright
Vaclav Havel, who issued amnesty to political prisoners and
postponed elections for June 1990.
The Soviet and Czech governments agreed in late 1989 on
the terms of withdrawal of the 70,000 Red Army soldiers
deployed in the country. Charter 77 had demanded the
dissolution of the two military blocs that divided the
continent, but down the disappearance of the Warsaw Pact and
at the risk of nationalist conflicts like the one in
Yugoslavia, Czechoslovakia, along with Hungary and Poland,
applied to become NATO associates.
In the June 1990 elections, Vaclav Havel was re-elected
president and the Czech-Slovak Federal State was proclaimed.
The President welcomed the idea of Francois Mitterrand's
idea of forming a European Union, including the Eastern
European countries, shortly after. In September of that
year, the country was admitted to the World Bank and IMF.
After the election, the Citizens' Forum was split into
the Democratic Citizens' Party, the self-appointed
right-wing party, with a conservative program, and the
Citizens' Movement. In Slovakia, the People's Party against
Violence was divided into two hostile voting groups, the
most important of which is the Movement for one Slovakia.
The reforms introduced by the new government did not
immediately succeed. In March 1991, the unemployment rate
reached 185,000 and it was estimated that by the end of the
year it would exceed half a million.