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Czechs not planning border controls with Austria – foreign minister

Demonstrators march during an anti-immigrants rally in Prague

The Czech Republic will not introduce controls at its border with Austria for the moment, Foreign Minister Lubomir Zaoralek said on Monday after Germany re-imposed checks to deal with the thousands of asylum seekers arriving daily.

Berlin announced the temporary measure would be taken first on the southern frontier with Austria, where migrant arrivals have soared since Chancellor Angela Merkel effectively opened German borders to refugees a week ago.

The European Union has become deeply divided in its response to the migrant crisis. The Czech Republic and other central European countries have firmly rejected mandatory quotas to redistribute 160,000 asylum seekers as part of the European Union’s response to its migrant crisis.

“For us, the situation is not such that we would consider some fundamental measures,” CTK news agency cited the Czech minister as saying on arrival to EU meetings in Brussels.

The Czechs have taken the step of reinforcing staff patrolling the border with Austria.

Migrants coming to Europe have mainly headed to Germany via Austria although the Czech Republic has seen some flow of refugees headed to western Europe.

Open borders among the European countries which signed the Schengen Treaty are a crucial part of the EU project, but controls can be re-introduced, provided they are only temporary.

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