Parliament has approved a new division of powers between the federal government and the country's two regional republics, settling a lingering crisis and saving national unity.

Deputies on Wednesday voted 237 to 24 in favor of a constitutional amendment handing broad economic powers to the Czech and Slovak republics.The federal government retains jurisdiction over defense, foreign policy, economic and fiscal strategy.

The decision was a compromise reached after Slovak leaders threatened to proclaim the sovereignty of Slovak law over federal legislation if their demands for economic control were not met.