Poland and the Czech Republic introduce controls on the border with Slovakia to stop the arrival of migrants | International
The Governments of the Czech Republic and Poland coordinated this Tuesday to introduce controls along their borders with Slovakia and thus stop irregular migratory flows and the activity of smugglers, as they argue. The strictest controls will begin on Wednesday and will last 10 days, with the possibility of being extended. “This is a necessary measure for the effective fight against smuggling and illegal migration groups,” said the Czech Minister of the Interior, Vit Rakusan, on the social network. “Checks will be carried out randomly along the entire length of the border with Slovakia, in such a way as to limit cross-border traffic as little as possible and not unnecessarily overload traffic or passengers,” added Rakusan.
Slovakia is facing a growing number of irregular migrants entering the country on their way to Germany and Western Europe. The migrants, predominantly young men from the Middle East and Afghanistan, mostly travel along the so-called Balkan route, entering Hungary from Serbia. Slovakia's leftist former prime minister, Robert Fico, has taken a hard line on the issue during the campaign for last weekend's election, which his party ultimately won. Now, in the process of seeking support to form a government, Fico has stated that protecting the border with Hungary will be a top priority.
The Polish Minister of the Interior, Mariusz Kaminski, has reported that he has informed his counterparts in Germany, Slovakia, Austria and the Czech Republic, as well as the European Commission, about the new controls, in accordance with rules for the Schengen zone of the European Union for visa-free travel. “In recent weeks we have detected and detained 551 illegal immigrants on the border with Slovakia. This situation forces us to take decisive action,” said Kaminski.
The Slovak Government has reported that it will take appropriate measures in response to the new border controls of the Polish and Czech neighbors during its meeting on Wednesday, according to the Slovak Prime Minister, Ludovit Odor. “Migration needs a European solution at the external borders,” he said in a statement. “When a country begins to monitor its border more, it produces a cascade effect, we will all pay for it and the result will be very confusing.”
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