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AMID UNEASE, EVENTS MARK VELVET REVOLUTION

Rock music and stirring speeches by former dissidents echoed through the streets of Prague on Wednesday as Czechs marked the 15th anniversary of the Velvet Revolution that ended communist rule.

But the mood was subdued, with many people feeling lost in the expanded European Union and disillusioned by 10 percent joblessness. Several hundred students even staged a re-enactment of the first 1989 protest march to express dissatisfaction with current problems.

Former President Vaclav Havel, the playwright who was a key figure in the anti-Marxist uprising, warned of a resurgence of communist ideology in the country he once famously dubbed "Absurdistan."

"It's not a good thing," Havel said as he laid a wreath at the site of a brutal police crackdown on demonstrators Nov. 17, 1989, the start of unrest that quickly toppled communism in Czechoslovakia.

Recent polls show the Communist Party is supported by about 15 percent of people in the Czech Republic, which split peacefully from Slovakia in 1993.

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