EU Reps Mark 50th Anniversary Of Soviet Invasion Of Czechoslovakia

Brussels/Prague, Aug 21 (CTK) – The Warsaw Pact’s invasion of Czechoslovakia crushed the Prague Spring 50 years ago but the desire for freedom and democracy survived and is the essence of what unites Europe now, European Council head Donald Tusk has tweeted on the invasion’s anniversary.


Today’s anniversary has also been marked by EC President Jean-Claude Juncker, European Parliament President Antonio Tajani and Manfred Weber, leader of the EP’s largest faction of the European People’s Party.


Juncker said in a press release that the crushing of the Prague Spring was “one of the most tragic and bitter episodes in modern Europe’s history.”


“As we mark this anniversary, we remember the tragic loss of lives and we pay tribute to the courage and heroism of those – many of them students – who stood defiant in the face of tanks and weapons,” Juncker said.


It is necessary to “remember that freedom and the respect for human rights can never be taken for granted and need to be fought for every single day,” he said.


Fifty years ago, the Soviet-led invasion liquidated the Prague Spring communist reform movement, but the surviving desire for democracy is the essesnce of what unites Europe today, wrote Tusk.


Tajani said the tragedy of the August 1968 invasion is a reminder mainly for young people, showing that freedom is not a matter of course and that there exists no alternative to united and successful Europe.


Manfred, on his part, called on people in connection with the August 21, 1968 events not to allow history to be played down or distorted.