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Czech Government Donates $1.2 Million To RFE/RL

Czech Foreign Minister Cyril Svoboda presented RFE/RL with a check from the Czech government of $1.2 million on May 16. From left to right: Broadcasting Board of Governors (BBG) member Steve Simmons, Undersecretary for Democracy and Global Affairs Paula Dobriansky, BBG Chairman Kenneth Tomlinson, and Czech Foreign Minister Cyril Svoboda (RFE/RL) WASHINGTON, May 16, 2006 (RFE/RL) -- Czech Foreign Minister Cyril Svoboda today announced a gift of $1.2 million to support the relocation of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty's (RFE/RL) headquarters in Prague.

Svoboda made the announcement at a press conference at the Broadcasting Board of Governors' offices during an official visit to Washington.

"This is [a] small contribution that there is a permanent commitment, political commitment of my country to support Radio Free Europe, because the fight for democracy is [a] never-ending story," Svoboda said.

The Czech government has decided to relocate RFE/RL's headquarters from its location in the middle of the historic city to a less-exposed site, due to security concerns. The gift represents about 7 percent of the total costs of construction at a new site and relocation.

Paula Dobriansky, the U.S. Under Secretary of State for Democracy and Global Affairs, praised the long-standing commitment of the Czech national and Prague city government to the Radios.

Svoboda predicted that he would also be present at the opening of the new headquarters in 2008.