Will Austria follow? – Slovakia: Czech Republic lifts border controls


On the night of February 5, the Czech Republic ends its border controls with Slovakia. Czech Interior Minister Vít Rakusan announced this on Wednesday. It is not yet officially clear whether Austria will also lift border controls with Slovakia.

However, Czech police continue to patrol the streets and the “green border,” Rakusan said.

“Ready to change decision operationally”
The Czech Republic reintroduced controls at the border with Slovakia at the end of September 2022 due to increasing illegal migration. The northern neighbor has thus used four of the six possible months in which the Schengen rules allow a temporary reintroduction of border controls. However, Rakusan warned that the Czech government is ready to “operationally change” the decision to lift border controls.

The Czech Republic arrested 141 people smugglers
Since the reintroduction of controls, the Czech police have checked more than three million people at the border with Slovakia. She had detained more than 9,500 people and prevented another 2,545 from entering the country. 141 people have been arrested on suspicion of human smuggling.

Last week, Austria extended border controls to Slovakia – as did the Czech Republic – until February 5. This is in line with the Czech Republic, which has also expanded controls, Interior Minister Gerhard Karner (ÖVP) stressed. It is therefore quite possible that Vienna will now also lift the controls. According to the ministry, 23 people smugglers operating from the country into Austria have been arrested since border controls with Slovakia began in late September 2022.

Source: Krone


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