Czech ambassador to EU: Prague might block EU-Canada trade agreement

15-10-2010

The Czech Republic might block a trade agreement between the European Union and Canada over visas re-imposed by Ottawa on Czech citizens, the Czech ambassador to the EU, Milena Vicenová, told Czech Radio on Friday. Ms Vicenová said that Prague is considering rejecting the agreement which is being negotiated; the deal should facilitate trade between the EU and Canada, and is expected to yield billions of euros. The agreement has to be approved by the parliaments of all EU member states; Ms Vicenová said if Canada does not change its position on the visa issue, Czech lawmakers might reject the treaty.

Prague has been pushing for the abolition of Canadian visas for Czech citizens ever since they were re-imposed in July 2009, following a wave of asylum applications, many of them from Romanies.