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Czech Republic poised to change name

BBC News BBC News 14/04/2016
A general view of the old town of Prague with the St. Nicholas church in the foreground is given in this April 5, 2004 file picture. © AFP A general view of the old town of Prague with the St. Nicholas church in the foreground is given in this April 5, 2004 file picture.

The Czech Republic is poised to change its name to "Czechia" to make it easier for companies and sports teams to use it on products and clothing.

The country will retain its full name but Czechia will become the official short geographic name, as "France" is to "The French Republic".

If approved by parliament, the name will be lodged with the United Nations.

Along with Slovakia, the Czech Republic was established when Czechoslovakia broke in two in 1993.

Some of the country's best-known exports, including its Pilsner Urquell beer and ice hockey team, currently use the word "Czech".

But "Czech" is an adjective and cannot properly be used as a name for the country.

Some have criticised "Czechia" as ugly, or too similar to "Chechnya", the semi-autonomous Russian republic.

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