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Czech Republic to End Internal Border Controls With Slovakia on Sunday

The Czech Republic will no longer extend internal border controls at the border with Slovakia, once the existing checks end on Saturday, February 5.

The checks will end after four months of being in place, since they were first introduced at the end of September 2022, in a bid of the Czech Republic to prevent illegal migrants from using its territory to transit to Germany, reports.

At the time, the Czech Ministry of the Interior had claimed that the number of illegal migrants had increased by 1,200 per cent from the beginning of January 2022, until September, to over 11,000 illegal migrants detected by the police, the majority of them Syrians.

However, the same Ministry now claims that the numbers have decreased considerably allowing the authorities to remove border checks, and go back to normality.

The numbers have significantly dropped,” Rakusan said Wednesday, according to AP news.

The checks between Czechia and Slovakia were last extended on January 25, for a period of ten days. In a statement issued on the same date, the Ministry revealed that the measure has worked since the border authorities have detected 9,567 people in illegal migration and denied entry to 2,545 of them from the begining of October.

Currently, Austria also has in place border controls with Slovakia, for the same reason, that of preventing migrants from reaching Austria, and using it as a transit country to travel further in the west.

The extension of the border controls to Slovakia is necessary for the time being in order to actively restrict the scope of action of the smuggling mafia and to prevent the smugglers’ routes from being shifted,” the Austria Minister of Interior Gerhard Karner said on January 26, announcing the extension of border controls with Slovakia for ten more days.

He also revealed that since the controls with Slovakia were first introduced at the end of September 2022, 23 people smugglers who operated between the two countries have been arrested.

Whereas today, on February 1, has reported that the number of migrants reaching Austria in 2022 has increased beyond the 2015 figures, when the country had marked the records.

Data show that 108,781 asylum applications have been filed in Austria last year, with 41,000 of them leaving to travel towards other EU countries. In 2021, on the other hand the number of applications for asylum in Austria was 39,930 while in 2020, just 14,775 asylum applications were recorded, mainly due to the Coronavirus pandemic.

>> Austria Sees Drop in Asylum Applications Following Serbia’s Introduction of Visas for Several Countries



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