Wednesday, October 17, 2007 ... Deutsch/Español/Related posts from blogosphere

Croatia vs Czechia, 95:91

Because of the renovation and other work, I can't post much. Croatia was elected as a temporary member of the U.N. security council, together with Libya, Vietnam, Burkina Faso, and Costa Rica. Costa Rica beat the Dominican Republic while Croatia has defeated Czechia: it was the closest race.

As I previously indicated, a membership of some Czech bureaucrats in this body is one of the last thing I would care about. Moreover, I have virtually nothing against Croatia. It was the most popular destination of Czech tourists and I have been there many times. Some people have been to dozens of hotels in Zagreb, Croatia, too. However, the Czechs are getting pretty rich so many of them start to choose more luxurious destinations.

Figure 1: Krk, Croatia

Nevertheless, Croats remain the culturally closest people to the Czechs who have access to a nice sea! ;-) Croats were the Yugoslavs who were (and are) always closer to fascism than communism. But because Croats were not those who were doing the worst crimes during the war, I am far from certain whom I would support in the context of battles in Yugoslavia 65 years ago or so.

Back to 2007.

While Czechia has received 91 votes, Croatia has gotten 95 votes. Some diplomats have suggested that Václav Klaus' skeptical speech about the climate could have added a few votes for Croatia that could have changed the final result. I find it perfectly plausible that a few votes were changed in this way while other votes could have been influenced by other events. But the membership in this body is the first thing I would sacrifice for my president's right to say what he thinks in the U.N. headquarters.

If our representatives were not speaking their mind but rather a sequence of universal colorless politically correct clichés, why would we care who is elected anyway? Despite all these speculations, Karel Schwarzenberg, the Czech secretary of state, assumed responsibility for the "U.N. flop". Given the fact that it is not necessarily "purely" his fault, I find his reaction generous. This is the kind of behavior expected from decent aristocracy and I feel that I would enjoy certain aspects of feudalism although most others could have been pretty annoying! :-)

This posting as well as the previous posting may be used for a general discussion about climate and politics.

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snail feedback (6) :

reader Bill Drissel said...

In the US we say the name of your country as "the Czech Republic" - cumbersome. I notice you use "Czechia". Is this a frequently used name? Is it pronounced, "CHECK-ee-yah"? Would it be reasonable for English speakers to use this as the name of the country?

Bill Drissel
Grand Prairie, TX, USA

reader Luboš Motl said...

Dear Bill, thanks! I've lived in your country for 10 years so I know that the most intelligent people call it the Czech Republic, the medium guys call it Czechoslovakia, and the majority calls it... well, differently. ;-)

Czechia (yes, you have the correct pronounciation) has been the official short name immediately from 1993, see

The Czech-language counterpart of "Czechia", namely "Česko" which is analogously novel verbal construction, has become pretty popular and it is used often - especially because commercial TVs used "Česko" to describe sport events (such as Česko-Rusko ice-hockey matches). "Czechia" in English is less popular because no TV chose promotion of this meaningful albeit not-too-well-known word as its goal. ;-)

reader tome said...

Greetings from Croatia, the next EU member (which this UN position should help out with), and a good friend of the Czech republic. Especially the female half, who are indeed the most beautiful girls in the world.

On topic, as far as I can tell, any global warming would in fact be good for Croatia, for it would lengthen the season. So, bring it on.

Off topic, and for the record, most Croatians are ashamed of their WWII record. However, it must be pointed out that WWII was pretty much a civil war, with only a thousand or so Germans soldier killed. So there were no good/bad guys. On Jasenovac, even independent historians have agreed that the numbers killed there range from 60 to 80 thousand. Something to be ashamed of yes, but unfortunately typical numbers for that period all across the region, and comparable to the number of surrendered Croatian soldiers+civilians killed in the months AFTER WWII by the communists.

reader Luboš Motl said...

Dear Tome, thanks for your interesting and nice words.

Concerning the war - Czechs could also be ashamed but for other things: for being cowards.

There is this joke how a Serbian partisan says that whenever they saw a German soldier, they would cut his head.

A Czech guy replies: We would have done the same thing but it wasn't legal in our protectorate! :-)

Season in Croatia was OK as late as September but I guess that tourists don't swim much now, do they? Surely it's better weather there than what we have right now.

And be welcome to the EU soon, hopefully.

reader Marko said...

Croatian coast is most beautiful in Adriatic sea.

Yugoslavia was a kingdom in WW2.
After war it became a communist country.
It was never even close to a fascism. Except one part. The Croatia.

reader Unknown said...


That picture looks more like a picture of Plitvice than a picture of the island Krk

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