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"Czechs to rename Prague airport in Vaclav Havel's honour"


 
Thursday, March 22, 2012

Czechs to rename airport in Vaclav Havel's honour


PRAGUE (Reuters) - The Czech government agreed on Wednesday to rename the
country's main airport in Prague to honour deceased former President Vaclav
Havel, Czech media reported.

Havel, a former anti-communist dissident and playwright, was jailed by the
country's totalitarian rulers before the 1989 bloodless "Velvet Revolution"
catapulted him to the presidency.

Havel is acclaimed for his peaceful resistance to the oppressive government
in the 1970s and 1980s that inspired human rights campaigners around the
world and won him respect from leaders ranging from former U.S. President
George Bush to the Dalai Lama.

One of Havel's close aides has protested the plan, saying the former
president actually never liked flying.

But the idea that Havel should be remembered by a landmark like the
country's main entry port, which served 11.8 million people last year, won
wide support across the political scene as well as the country's
intellectual elite.

Havel died on December 22 last year, aged 75.

Havel's old-time friend, the still living former Polish
dissident-turned-president Lech Walesa, has an airport named after him in
the northern Polish city of Gdansk.

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