The National Centre for Combatting Organized Crime issued its annual report on Wednesday highlighting potential security risks to the country. It reported a growing number of sham marriages, particularly with citizens of Turkey, and warned of “uncontrolled numbers of people practicing Islam entering the country”.
The number of foreigners working in the Czech Republic has more than tripled since the country’s accession to the European Union in 2004. At the moment, there are more than half a million foreigners working in the country, according to Czech Statistics Office data and the Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs.
The Czech Republic’s communal elections, which will take place this Friday and Saturday, differ from their presidential and parliamentary equivalents in that citizens of other EU member states are also allowed to vote. This includes those living in the country on a temporary basis. However, interest in political engagement seems low among foreigners living in the country, with only a few thousand deciding to register.
The number of Russians residing and working in the Czech Republic has been steadily growing in recent years. Many come here in search of a better life, to escape the authoritarian regime of Vladimir Putin or homophobia in their homeland. And many find that the Russian led-invasion of Czechoslovakia casts a long shadow.
The government in January agreed to double the number of Ukrainians it would allow in as fast-track migrant workers to nearly 20,000 per year, in a bid to help address the chronic labour shortage, which has companies in the export-driven economy struggling to fill orders. According to Czech Chamber of Commerce, the fast-track scheme is a drop in the proverbial bucket – but still paying dividends.
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs announced last week that the Czech consulate in Hanoi has stopped accepting applications from Vietnamese nationals for both long-term resident permits and visas, citing incapacity to handle the backlog of requests – but most of all, security risks, in the form of “exported” organised crime.
At 2.9 percent, the Czech unemployment rate is the lowest in 22 years, and in particular graduates have never had it easier finding work. According to labour office statistics there are currently ten vacancies per graduate, a state of affairs that is attracting young people from Greece, Italy or Spain to the Czech Republic.