The Czech Republic has announced that it will be extending temporary checks along its border with Slovakia. The extension will run for another 45 days and is presently set to end on December 12.
Prime Minister Petr Fiala agreed to extending the measure just two days before the checks would have expired on Saturday (October 29). The border checks were introduced last month to combat irregular migration.
"This is a measure that we do not like to take, but the situation requires it," Fiala said.
Before the border checks began, reported the news agency Reuters, the Czech authorities said they had detained almost 12,000 migrants who had crossed the Czech border without the correct documents since the beginning of 2022.
Most of the migrants, reported Reuters, were Syrian, and intended to travel through the Czech Republic to Germany, or other more western EU states.
Rise in migrants
The checks were originally brought in to counter an increase in migration on the Balkan route into the European Union.
Almost 5,500 migrants without the correct documents have been intercepted since the controls began at the end of September, in addition to 74 people smugglers, reported the Czech news source CTK.
The Czech Republic and Slovakia are both members of the European Union and belong to the Schengen area, which means that under normal circumstances, there are no border controls. In fact, Slovakia has complained about the border controls, saying that it is against the principles of the Schengen open-border policy.
The two countries used to be a common state, Czechoslovakia, until their break-up in 1993.
With dpa, Reuters