Border towns fear illegal waste imports could worsen after Schengen expansion

The planned enlargement of the Schengen border free zone on January 1st of 2008 has evoked concerns on both sides of the Czech-Austrian border, says Tuesday's edition of Lidove Noviny. While Austria fears growing crime, the mayors of some Czech border municipalities are afraid of the growing amount of illegal imports of foreign waste. Villages in the vicinity of Kaplice now have to dispose of tons of waste in the nearby forests and along the roads that are evidently brought there by Austrian tourists, the paper says. On the other hand, the mayors welcome the introduction of joint Czech-Austrian police patrols within which Austrian policemen can operate in Czech border regions and vice-versa.