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October 19th, 1998
The Mayor of the North Bohemian town of Usti nad Labem, Ladislav Hruska, has called upon President Vaclav Havel to apologize to the citizens of the town for his statements, broadcast on Sunday in an interview for Czech Radio.

President Havel accused some mayors of behaving as though the town belonged to them and of ignoring international opinion. Without referring specifically to the mayor of Usti nad Labem, who supports the idea of building a wall to isolate a mainly Romany housing estate in the town, the President claimed that some mayors felt entitled to embrace all the racial prejudices of their voters.

The mayor, Mr Hruska, has responded to the charges by accusing the President Havel of raising emotions and accelerating tensions among citizens, without offering constructive solutions.

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