THE WHITE HOUSE
Office of the Press Secretary
STATEMENT BY THE PRESS SECRETARY
President Clinton is pleased to announce he has accepted the generous offer of the Czech government to make the former Parliament building in Prague available for Radio Free Europe and Radio Liberty and its associated research activities. This decision is subject to the necessary approval by Congress and consultations are currently underway.
President Clinton informed Czech President Vaclav Havel of his decision during a phone conversation this weekend. The Czech government has offered the building to house the two radios, currently headquartered in Munich, Germany.
In making this decision the President said, "The Radios made a significant contribution to the victory of freedom during the Cold War. All friends of liberty appreciate the strong support of the German government and in particular the Bavarian officials over the last four decades. With this move, the Radios begin a new chapter in the continuing struggle to consolidate democracy throughout the former communist bloc. I am grateful to President Havel and the Czech government for its generous offer and look forward to working with it to ensure the Radios' important work continues."
The President took this decision only after being assured by Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, the Board for International Broadcasting and USIA that the move could be completed within the budget limits set by the Congress. The Administration remains firmly committed to realizing the budgetary savings which will flow from the consolidation of international broadcasting approved by Congress. We will be making a Presidential certification and submitting a detailed plan for relocation to the Comptroller General and Congress.
Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty are independent radio networks broadcasting to Eastern Europe and the Former Soviet Union funded by a grant from the U.S. government. The move to Prague and other aspects of the consolidation will be supervised by a steering committee co-chaired by NSC and OMB and including representatives of the Department of State, USIA, and the Board for International Broadcasting.
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