Czech Local Authorities Dispute Handover of Land to Poland

Local authorities in the Czech Republic want to challenge a government offer to settle a ‘land debt’ that arose when Soviet authorities redrew the borders and chopped off bits of Poland.

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In March this year, Czech Prime Minister Bohuslav Sobotka presented to Warsaw a plan to return about 1.4 square miles of land to Poland. But now regional and town authorities in affected areas have announced their opposition to the scheme.

Martin Puta, the Liberec region governor, said specific pieces of land in question had never belonged to Poland. He told the Prague Post that it would cost more to undertake the necessary work than the land was actually worth.

In Kraliky, the town council said that land earmarked for Poland was essential for local water and environmental management.

Most of the land that would go to Poland under Czech government proposals is forest and meadow, uninhabited but managed by Czech farmers. However, there are a few Czechs living there who would find that they lived in the Republic of Poland if the change went ahead.