Kostelec nad Orlici, East Bohemia, Jan 7 (CTK) – The Czech Republic needs no more refugee facilities for now, since the capacity of the present ones is sufficient, Interior Minister Milan Chovanec (Social Democrats, CSSD) said on a visit to a centre where asylum seekers are accommodated.
Chovanec said there are together 200 free beds in the Kostelec nad Orlici centre and the other centre for asylum seekers in Havirov, north Moravia.
The detention facilities for illegal migrants who do not seek Czech asylum have the total capacity of 1,500 beds, of which only 109 are filled now, Chovanec said.
“It seems that the spring of 2016 will be decisive. If the migrant crisis intensified, such [foreigner] facilities would be needed. I firmly hope that in the spring it will turn out that Turkey will slow down the [migrant] wave for the money the European Commission pledged to provide for it. Of course, we will become wiser in March or April this year,” Chovanec said.
The Kostelec nad Orlici facility for asylum seekers was opened in former military barracks in 2001. Its capacity is 275 beds, 134 of which are filled at present, the centre´s director Ivana Vyhnalkova told journalists.
The foreigners in the centre are mostly Ukrainians, Russians and Cubans. There are three asylum seekers from Syria, she said.
The illegal immigrants who do not ask for asylum end in foreigner detention centres in Vysni Lhoty, north Moravia, Drahonice, north Bohemia and Bela pod Bezdezem, central Bohemia.
The Interior Ministry originally planned to open another detention centre in Balkova, west Bohemia, in 2016.
“Balkova has been mothballed, it will not be opened for the time being,” Chovanec said yesterday.
In late December, the Czech foreigner police said they detained 8,175 illegal migrants in the country from January to November 2015, which was 3,799 more than in 2014.
Most often, the detained migrants were citizens of Syria, followed by Ukrainians, Afghanis, Kuwaitis and Iraqis.