Czech interior minister wants to decrease border checks gradually

Czech interior minister Vít Rakušan has said that he does not want to decrease controls on the Czech-Slovak border too suddenly, the Czech News Agency reported on Tuesday. At Wednesday's cabinet meeting he wants to propose that checks only be carried out by police officers for the next ten days, with soldiers and customs officials being withdrawn from duty. Without a further ruling by the government, border checks would be due to end on Wednesday night.

Controls on the Czech-Slovak border have been in place since September 26 due to increasing numbers of migrants using Czechia as a transit country to get to Western Europe. Although originally only intended to last ten days, the checks have been repeatedly extended. Since December 21, the intensity of the controls has been reduced and checks are now only done at random.

The largest number of migrants last year was recorded in September, at over 9,000. After the introduction of checks, the number dropped to around 6,000 in October, 3,000 in November and less than 600 in December.

Author: Anna Fodor