Austria and the Czech Republic again extended border control with Slovakia

Austria and the Czech Republic once again extended border controls with Slovakia

In a press release issued by the Ministry The Austrian Interior Ministry announced a decision to continue checking passports at the border with neighboring Slovakia. According to the text of the document,  since control with this country was first introduced at the end of September 2022, a total of 23 smugglers have been arrested.

“Expanding border controls is necessary in order to actively limit the scope of the mafia and prevent smugglers from changing the routes,” — said Austrian Interior Minister Gerhard Karner.

The Czech Interior Ministry also announced the extension of border controls for another ten days, albeit with some changes.

According to this statement, soldiers from Thursday and customs officers are no longer involved in border control, only the police will be there. Police officers will thus continue to carry out random checks, which the government approved at the end of December last year.

The Czech Republic introduced controls with Slovakia on September 29, 2022, based on the EU law on the restoration of border controls in an attempt to prevent further activities of organized groups of smugglers transiting from Czech territory to Germany.

The Ministry claims that this measure has worked: border authorities identified 9,567 cases of illegal migration and denied entry to 2,545 violators. They also detained 141 people suspected of human smuggling. Until December 21, everyone crossing the border was checked. However, since then, the checks have been carried out randomly.

Both countries have notified the Slovak authorities of the extension of the control. This time, the latter did not make any remarks, although back in October, Slovak Interior Minister Roman Miculec accused the Czech Republic of violating the Schengen border code.

According to him, the introduction and expansion of internal border controls should be the last measure, since there are other options for dealing with smuggling of migrants and illegal border crossings.

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