The Czech Republic has rejected Italy’s request for EU members to share out some 450 asylum seekers rescued at sea. Prime Minister Andrej Babiš said Italy’s decision to admit more migrants went against the agreement reached at the last EU summit and stressed that Europe must send out a clear signal that its doors were closed to further asylum seekers.
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.
Prime Minister Andrej Babiš has called a meeting of the State Security
Council on Friday to discuss the protection of Czech borders if Germany
decides to turn migrants away at its borders. He said on Thursday that a
crisis plan was already in place for such a scenario under which the Czech
police, customs and possibly the army would be deployed.
Mr. Babiš said that his Austrian counterpart, Sebastian Kurz, had said at a Visegrad Four plus Austria meeting on Thursday that his country would take similar action if Germany started turning migrants away.
Chancellor Angela Merkel is seeking a new deal at EU level over migrants. However the junior partner in her coalition government wants the police to be allowed to reject undocumented migrants at the border.
In response to numerous complaints with regard to abuse of the Czech visa system in Ukraine, the Czech consulate in Lvov has moved to simplify and speed up the process. Steps have been taken to root out corruption by local middlemen who blocked the registration system, making it virtually impossible for anyone else to sign up for months. Applicants will now be able to book by phone, eliminating the long waiting lines outside the consulate and the waiting time for a visa should be reduced from 130 days to 75.
The government on Wednesday approved an amendment to the law on foreigners
that would make it mandatory for people who seek long-term residence permit
in the Czech Republic for the purpose of employment to take part in
Foreigners should complete the course within a year of their arrival in the country. The amendment still needs to be approved by parliament.
The number of applications for long-term residence permits in the Czech Republic for the purpose of employment has increased from 3,000 in 2014 to over 13,000 last year. According to deputy Prime Minister Richard Brabec, integration courses could help mainly foreign students and scientists who want to work in the Czech Republic.
Czech Prime Minister Andrej Babiš on Monday sharply rejected the idea that the Czech Republic should pay some form of compensation for not accepting migrant quotas. In response to proposals floated by German Chancellor Angela Merkel at the weekend, Mr. Babiš said the Czech people and Czech firms themselves would decide who would live and work in this country.
The Czech Republic has the lowest jobless rate in the European Union with vacancies now outstripping the registered unemployed. But moves to attract workers from Ukraine are being hampered by red tape. That sparked a lightning visit last week by the Czech labour minister and a raft of reforms are now promised.
The Czech Republic will seek to bring around 2,000 Ukrainian care-givers to
the Czech Republic under a special project, the Minister of Labour and
Social Affairs Jaroslava Němcová told journalists on Monday.
Social services in the Czech Republic have been struggling to deal with a lack of caregivers in old-age homes and institutions for disabled people. Němcová said other areas of the economy would also benefit from facilitating the process of issuing work permits for Ukrainians willing to fill the growing number of vacancies on the job market.
There are currently over 374,000 foreigners working in the country, of those 70,000 are Ukrainian nationals.