Border controls are likely to be extended
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“We are looking for ways to reduce the numbers of the Western Balkan migration route so that we can have free movement between individual countries. The situation in the current numbers is still not very positive,” the Austrian said on Thursday in Prague after a meeting with his counterparts from Slovakia, Austria and Hungary. According to him, more than half of the refugees now come to Europe via the Western Balkans route.

The Austrian repeated that border controls with Slovakia are a short-term solution. The ideal time for the next extension should be at least 30 days, which he wants to present to the government in two weeks.

“We will discuss how to continue to work with the measure and whether to introduce a more friendly regime for the Christmas holidays,” said the Austrian.

This year, the police have already caught over 21,000 illegal migrants, six times the number that was registered during the migration crisis in 2015. Since the beginning of the current border checks, the police have detected almost nine thousand foreigners, more than two thousand have been denied entry to the Czech Republic. During the checks, the police detained 115 traffickers.

We will talk about whether to give a more friendly regime for the Christmas holidays

Welcome Austrian

The Czechia has been monitoring the border with Slovakia since the end of September, most migrants cross the border in southern Moravia and Zlín. They usually come to Slovakia from Hungary, where they arrive from the Balkans.

The pressure on the Schengen borders is enormous, we all have to get involved, appeals the Slovak Minister of the Interior


Czech Prime Minister Petr Fiala (ODS) stated at the V4 summit in Košice on Thursday that Visegrad countries are victims of illegal migration. “In view of the sharp increase in migration flows, the Czech Presidency called an extraordinary meeting of the Council for Justice and Internal Affairs in Brussels for Friday,” he said.

“Great coordination is needed to fight against illegal smuggling and this smuggling mafia. In the last ten months, we had 100,000 illegal migrants, of which 75,000 were people who came to the territory of the Schengen area for the first time. As a rule, they have no chance of asylum,” Austrian Interior Minister Gerhard Karner said on Thursday.

Friday’s extraordinary Council of Ministers of the Interior should cover the disputes surrounding the introduction of border controls within the Schengen area. “If we see that there must be internal border controls between our countries, it means that something is not quite right with Schengen,” added Karner.

The EU border agency Frontex observes a threefold increase in the number of migrants arriving illegally in the EU on the Western Balkans route compared to last year. “We have achieved success when the countries of the Western Balkans are ready to protect their borders even beyond the Schengen area,” the Austrian said on Thursday. The ministers also want to discuss the possibilities of international agreements, according to which countries cannot deport detained illegal migrants to Syria, where the war is ongoing.

“It is important to ensure the protection of the external borders. All countries have expressed maximum help to Hungary, because we know that the pressure is on the Hungarian-Serbian border,” Slovak Prime Minister Eduard Heger said at the V4 summit on Thursday. According to Heger, the V4 countries are ready to send additional police officers to the Hungarian-Serbian border.

Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán pointed out that Hungary is facing waves of migration from two directions. “Over a million people crossed the Hungarian-Ukrainian border. On the Hungarian-Serbian border, we have already stopped 250,000 attempts to penetrate our territory,” said Orbán and called for better protection of the Serbian-Macedonian border.

Slovak police officers are investigating Czech colleagues for fraud


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