The Czech News Agency reports that lawmakers in the Czech Republic are set to end decades of debate this week by officially announcing a new name for the country: Czechia.
Foreign Minister Lubomir Zaoralek told reporters this week that he supported the move, suggesting that foreigners often mangled the national name when he met them abroad.
“It is not good if a country does not have clearly defined symbols or if it even does not clearly say what its name is,” Zaoralek said, adding that when the decision is implemented, Czechia will officially become the conventional short-form name for the country, while the Czech Republic will remain the conventional long-form name.
The next step is to inform the United Nations geographical names database, which will add Czechia to its list of official short-form and long-form names of countries.
Not everyone is pleased with developments, the Czech News Agency notes, quoting Karla Slechtova, the minister of regional development, who tweeted Thursday that the change would mean wasted funds in rebranding and that the new name was too close to “Chechnya,” the semiautonomous – and notorious – Russian republic.