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Czechs To Rename Prague Airport After Havel


Former Czech President Vaclav Havel attends a conference in Prague in October 2011.

Former Czech President Vaclav Havel attends a conference in Prague in October 2011.

The Czech government has bowed to public pressure and decided to rename Prague's international airport after the late President Vaclav Havel.

Transportation Minister Pavel Dobes proposed making the change official on October 5, which would have been Havel's 76th birthday.

Earlier, the government had responded negatively to the proposed name change, but an online petition gathered some 82,000 signatures, and Havel's widow and brother favored the move.

Havel, a former dissident and playwright who was a leader of the country's 1989 Velvet Revolution, was president of Czechoslovakia from 1989 until 1992.

After the Czech Republic and Slovakia split, he was president of the Czech Republic from 1993 until 2003.

He died in Prague on December 18, 2011.

With AP and dpa reporting

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