EU not to protect smelly Czech delicacy for now

Aktuálně.cz national news reporters
8. 2. 2008 12:12
"Syrečky" from Olomouc to stink it out on their own
Olomouc´s syrečky, sometimes also called tvarůžky have to be kept in a special glass jar for their strong odour
Olomouc´s syrečky, sometimes also called tvarůžky have to be kept in a special glass jar for their strong odour | Foto:

Brussels/Loštice - For the moment, the special "little cheeses" of Olomouc, popularly known as "syrečky", will not enjoy the protection of the EU.  The possibility of their placement on the list of brands protected by the European Union has been put off by at least several months.

Syrečky is a ripened soft cheese of yellow color and intensive odour, made of curd and salt, the production of which dates back to 16th century when Czech king Rudolf II became a big fan of syrečky.

Syrečky is free of chemical additives and contains only 0.6 per cent fat. Syrečky has been continually made in Loštice in the Olomouc region since 1876. There is a museum devoted to this smelly cheese delicacy in Loštice.

The deadline for submission of objections expired yesterday at midnight, and at that time two objections had reached the table of the European Commission.

Germany and Austria blocking syrečky

"According to Czech Television, responsible were manufacturers from Germany and Austria, whose actions for the time being blocked the registration of Olomouc's "syrečky" as a protected mark of origin," stated Member of European Parliament for Christian Democrats (KDU-ČSL) Jan Březina.

Mr. Březina is currently helping to negotiate protection for Olomouc's "syrečky".

The chief executive of the Loštice-based company A.W. s.r.o., Jaroslav Kolař, stated for Aktuálně.cz that he knows of only one objection.

"I am indeed in sporadic, but nevertheless continual, contact with European Parliament Member Březina.  The deadline just passed today, so it's new information," he said.

The issue should be dealt with by the European Commission.  However, no norm exists as of yet that would stipulate by when this must happen.

For example, in the case of the famous "oplatky", or wafers, from Karlovy Vary and Mariánské lázně, where the situation is similar, the term for submitting objections already expired October 14th.  Even so, the verdict of the European Commission is not expected in the foreseeable future.

Pre-War Flashback:  Sudeten Germans vs. Czechs

It's not an accident that with applications for registration by Czech companies, objections are most often submitted by none other than Austrians and Germans.

The situation is very often complicated by historical facts, specifically questions concerning the post-war displacement of Czech Germans and the manner in which this was handled.

It turns out a number of well-known Czech brands originate from border regions which, barring some exceptions, were exclusively German.

"It's interesting, both with Karlovy Vary and Mariánské Lázně wafers as well as the syrečky of Olomouc, that the objections are entrenched in the context of the displacement of Sudeten Germans from Czechoslovakia, and as such they have an indispensable political dimension," declares Březina.


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