Czechs step up pressure on Canada over visas

The Czech Republic is stepping up pressure on Canada for the country to lift visa-requirements for Czech nationals. Deputy Foreign Minister Jan Schneider told Monday’s edition of Hospodarske noviny that the Czech side had conditioned its ratification of CETA – the EU’s free trade agreement with Canada – on the lifting of visa restrictions for Czechs. Canada re-imposed visa requirements for Czech nationals in 2009 in the wake of a wave of Romany asylum seekers from the Czech Republic. In 2012 Canada tightened its asylum law, but said it had to test the impact of the new legislation for at least a year before making changes to its visa policy. The Czech Foreign Ministry is hoping for a positive response from Canada within a couple of months at the latest.