ployment in the country fell below 3 percent, the lowest rate in Eastern Eu-|
rope. After a ban imposed on livestock deliveries by the European Commu-
nity on most East European countries, because of alleged danger of infectious
animal diseases, the Czech lands, Slovakia, Hungary, and Poland, followed by
Bulgaria, closed their borders to imports of animal origin from Western Eu-
June. Discussions between Slovak and Czech negotiators over the division of
former federal properties continued. Although Slovakia sent a contingent of
418 soldiers to Croatia as part of the UN peacekeeping force, the Slovak gov-
ernment refused to participate in a similar mission in Bosnia-Herzegovina.
Meciar, in comments to the German magazine Der Spiegel, suggested that the
fact that Czech energy supplies pass through Slovakia might induce the
Czech government to share some of its assets, such as gold and other prop-
erty, with the Slovak state. He added that the Czech economy would collapse
in ten days if energy supplies were disrupted. The Czech government de-
manded an explanation from Meciar. The Slovak prime minister announced,
during a visit to Washington, D.C., that his country intends to increase arms
production to help the conversion of the arms industry to regular products.
Agreement of Christmas, 1943 . At the end of December 1943, before the beginning of the Slovak uprising against German domination, the underground organization in Slovakia, including the Slovak Communist party (largely independent from the Czech party during World War II), concluded an agreement for the organization of future political alignments after the war. The agreement stipulated that the Slovak democratic parties would have a considerable measure of autonomy in the republic. The agreement was later nullified by the Moscow-directed Communist party.
Toma Peter A., "The Communist Party of Czechoslovakia," in Stephen Fischer-Galati, ed. The Communist Parties of Eeaster Europe ( New York, 1979).
Bilak Vasil (1917- ) . Bilak has been a member of the leadership of the Czechoslovak Communist party in one position or another after 1950. In 1954, he became a candidate (nonvoting) member of the party's Central Committee. An old-guard, dogmatic communist, he was the first secretary of the Slovak Communist party between January and September 1968, and he was a leading party member who stressed "normalization" after the invasion of the country by the Warsaw Pact forces. In January 1969, he was appointed as a member of the presidium (Politburo) of the Czechoslovak Communist party." He was eventually ousted from power in 1988.
Kusin Vladimir, From Dubcek to Charter 77: A Study of "Normalization" in Czechoslovakia, 1968- 1978 ( New York, 1978).