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Právo: Foreign workers raging in Czech industrial zones

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Prague, Jan 19 (CTK) – The number of foreigners working in Czech industrial zones has increased in the past few months along with the number of petty crimes, above all traffic offences, that foreign employees, mainly from Poland and Ukraine, commit there, daily Pravo wrote on Thursday.

In Kvasiny, east Bohemia, where the Skoda Auto car maker has a factory, the number of offences committed by foreigners increased by 419 percent last year compared to 2015, according to the statistics of the Interior Ministry released to Pravo.

Moreover, a high number of such offences were committed under the influence of alcohol, Pravo adds.

Interior Minister Milan Chovanec (Social Democrats, CSSD) therefore convoked a meeting with representatives of the afflicted regions and municipalities for Thursday.

Chovanec told Pravo on Wednesday that the police along with the local self-rule authorities, customs officers and other sectors in charge of foreigners’ employment would soon start checking the most critical localities systemically and that the national and municipal police patrols would be reinforced there.

However, the paper says the situation has worsened in industrial zones due to foreign workers only recently, while most of the delicts are still committed by Czechs there, Pravo writes.

“It is unacceptable to me that people should fear to go out because someone decides to shout there and commit traffic offences. These foreigners do not observe regulations and they drive too fast in the town,” Chovanec told Pravo.

Traffic offences make up almost 50 percent of all registered unlawful acts by foreigners in industrial zones, followed by property offences (20-30 percent), offences against social cohesion (10-20 percent) and against the public peace (under 10 percent), Pravo writes.

“Apart from traffic, there are problems with the disturbance of the peace and quiet at night and of the public order as well as harassment committed mainly by men shouting at women. I want people to feel safe there,” Chovanec said, commenting on foreigners’ offences.

The possible arrival of further 10,000 foreign employees, which Czech employers demand and plan, must be handled in view of the problems with the current ones, Chovanec said.

“We want to set clear rules of the game together with the regions and municipalities involved as well as employers before many other foreigners arrive to work in our country,” Chovanec said.

The firms that offer jobs to foreigners and those who provide accommodation facilities for them bear responsibility for the situation, Chovanec said, adding that this is why he would like to agree with them on further steps, for instance, within the prepared standing working group.

The current focus on the localities in west and est Bohemia is just a pilot project, while similar problems occur in the whole country, Chovanec pointed out.

He said he would want big companies in critical areas to dismiss foreign workers immediately after they violate law. It will not be possible to employ these people in the Czech Republic any more, Pravo writes.

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