October 20th, 1998|
The Czech Republic on Tuesday urged Britain not to impose visas on
its citizens to counter large numbers of romanies claiming asylum,
and said Prague had concrete plans to solve the problem.
Foreign Minister Jan Kavan and Human rights Commissioner Petr Uhl,
speaking in London after talks with Prime Minister Tony Blair and
other ministers said they had been assured that Britain had no
immediate plans to require Czech visitors to obtain visas.
Earlier this month, Britain imposed visa restrictions on Slovaks
after a huge increase in the number of asylum applications from
Slovak romanies who say they are discriminated against at home.
Petr Uhl said the government planned to improve education,
employment and living conditions for Czech Romanies. He also said
that there were plans to boost protection against racist attacks
and to add an anti-discrimination clause to the employment law.
Uhl commented that Prague wanted to benefit from the experience of
large councils in Britain which had successfully integrated large
Jan Kavan said the Czech Republic's chances of joining the European
Union could well be hit if its citizens were required to obtain
visas before entering Britain.