Amicable divorce

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Graeme Thomas (Letters, 
11 July) uses the break up of 
Yugoslavia as an example of the horrors of secession. But is this really relevant to the referendum debate? These were very different countries with different religions and cultures and they had been held together by a rigid communist regime.

Of more relevance to Scotland might be the break-up of Czechoslovakia. Before the “Velvet Divorce”, Slovakia was the smaller, less well-developed and weaker part of Czechslovakia. Now it scores higher in almost every economic factor.

The secession has not driven Czechs and Slovaks apart; rather the opposite. Many thousands of Czechs live in Slovakia and vice versa. Czechs and Slovaks seem to get on better now than when they shared a country, constantly bickering as they did (just like the Scots and English) over whether one subsidised the other and who dictated policy.

And the Slovaks can no longer complain about policies emanating from Prague, as they were wont to do; they have only themselves to blame – or congratulate. All was not plain sailing, but difficulties were ironed out with the will on each side to come to a reasonable agreement. Both are members of the European Union and the United Nations.

JAMES LOCKIE

Paradise

Coldingham, Berwickshire

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