Prague, July 29 (CTK) – The Czech police detained almost 40 illegal migrants, including 13 children, Tuesday night, Interior Minister Milan Chovanec (Social Democrats, CSSD) told reporters Wednesday, before the government meeting to debate migration issues.
The numbers of illegal refugees have been rising quickly, he added.
However, Chovanec said he believed that the planned 1200 new beds in detention facilities to be available by the end of this year would suffice.
The Czech Republic, along with the rest of Europe, is facing a strong wave of illegal refugees, mainly from the turbulent areas in North Africa and the Middle East.
In the first half of this year, the Czech police detained over 3,000 illegal migrants, which is almost 50 percent more than last year.
“We plan to prepare further 1,200 beds by the end of the year. I suppose that it could suffice if the return system did not collapse and we were able to keep returning the migrants to Hungary and Austria,” Chovanec said.
However, the capacity had to be increased next year, he added.
Chovanec said earlier the Interior Ministry expected 5,000 to 7,000 illegal immigrants to come to the 10.5-million Czech Republic next year and some 3,500 were expected this year.
In mid-July, the government approved the opening of detention facilities for refugees in Vysni Lhoty, north Moravia, and Balkova, west Bohemia. It will also extend the capacity of the facility for foreigners in Bela pod Bezdezem, north Bohemia.
According to the International Organisation for Migration (IOM), some 150,000 migrants have arrived in Europe this year, mainly in Italy and Greece, while about 1,900 died in the Mediterranean Sea on attempting to reach the European coast, which is twice more than during the same period last year.
Most of the refugees tried to escape war conflicts, violence, and suppression in their countries and a major part of them comes from Syria, the U.N. says.
At the end of June, the EU member states rejected the refugee quotas proposed by the European Commission (EC) under which some 40,000 immigrants staying in Italy and Greece were to be redistributed among the whole EU. The EU countries, however, agreed to accept the same numbers of asylum seekers on a voluntary basis in the next two years.
The Czech government agreed to accept 1,500 refugees (1,100 from Italy and Greece and 400 from refugee camps in the Middle East) by the end of 2017. This year, 400 migrants should arrive in the Czech Republic, while in 2016 and 2017, it should be 700 and 400, respectively.