Minister of Interior Jan Hamáček, along with police and customs officials
on Tuesday opened a National Border Protection Centre in Prague. The main
task of the newly established centre is to ensure cooperation between
security forces in the protection of the Czech Republic’s outer borders.
The joint centre of the immigration police and the Czech Republic’s Customs Administration, which is located in Prague, will cooperate with partners in the Schengen Area and other countries.
Mr Hamáček said better protection of the Czech Republic’s outer borders was a basic precondition for preserving the freedom of movement.
Speaking ahead of Wednesday’s EU summit in Salzburg, the Czech and Slovak heads of government criticized the European Commission‘s plans to increase funding for the European Border and Coast Guard Agency Frontex. They argued that this amounts to duplicating European security structures and boosting an agency that has not proven very effective.
Czech Prime Minister Andrej Babiš has hailed the agreement on migration reached after nine hours of gruelling talks at an EU summit in Brussels as a huge success for the Visegrad Group’s common policy. The newly-appointed head of government, who has vehemently fought the idea of mandatory quotas, said the focus had shifted with the accent now on voluntary cooperation and the need to resolve the migrant crisis outside of Europe.
The Czech ministry of finance has lodged a new demand that customs officers
are allowed to investigate and pursue a much wider range of tax related
At the moment, they only have full competence with regard to Valued Added Tax and customs duties. Other tax related cases must be handed over to the police.
A similar attempt to widen the competences of the customs administration was made in 2016 by the then finance minister Andrej Babiš. It failed to win support from other government parties. Babiš is now prime minister and head of the biggest party, ANO.
Czech minister of interior, Milan Chovanec, has replied to criticism of the Czech Republic by one of the interior security experts of one of Germany’s main government parties. Armin Schuster, an expert for the CDU, attacked both the Czech Republic and Poland for their alleged failure to properly police their domestic territory. Schuster said that failure was highlighted when Germany reinstated border controls last week in connection with the G20 summit in Hamburg and many wanted people were found who had crossed into the country. Schuster added that the European Commission should quickly investigate the claimed failings. Chovanec said Schuster’s comments failed to reflect the high level of police cooperation between Czech and German forces.
Snow and icy conditions have been complicating traffic in many parts of the country. The Road Maintenance Authority has closed the main road to Poland via Harrachov for trucks and the restriction is likely to remain in place at least until Thursday. Meteorologists predict another 25 centimeters of fresh snow in the course of the day. Maintenance crews are out in force to keep the main roads clear.
We've just arrived, with about 25 fellow passengers, by coach from Plzeň in the Czech Republic, and we are now in the tiny German village of Friedrichshäng. It lies just on the Czech border, deep in the Bavarian Forest – or Bayerischer Wald – with Český les forest on the Czech side. We’re going to an annual event organised by locals as well as the Centrum Bavaria Bohemia, which is based in a town called Schönsee just a couple of kilometres west of here. The transportation is provided by the Centre as part of its “Cesta za kulturou” programme, or
Sixty percent of drivers in the Czech Republic flout traffic regulations when using railway crossings, Roman Budský of the national Road Safety Team said at a news conference on Thursday. The most frequent violation is driving over the crossings after warning signals begin. Mr. Budský said the majority of those killed at such spots live nearby and feel that they know them well. He also said that the Czech Republic was the European per capita leader in railway suicides.
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“Einstein in Bohemia” – Part II: how alienation in ‘half-barbaric’ Prague led him to a new theory of gravity, eventual love of a free Czechoslovakia
“Einstein in Bohemia” – part 1: how a Prague sojourn sparked his theory of general relativity, journey of self-discovery