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September 29, 2022



Czech authorities reopen refugee reception center in the Vysočany neighborhood of Prague

11.7.2022 10:45
The Regional Assistance Center for Aid to Ukraine in Prague (2022) (PHOTO:  Lukáš Cirok)
The Regional Assistance Center for Aid to Ukraine in Prague (2022) (PHOTO: Lukáš Cirok)

Prague City Hall today reopened the regional center for refugees from Ukraine in its Vysočany neighborhood after having closed it in mid-June due to what it claims is a high number of refugees from Ukraine in the capital, and city officials announced they will no longer be offering refugees any more long-term housing in properties that are municipally owned. Mayor of Prague Zdeněk Hřib (Pirates) said the reopening is based on a Government decision that he has called a mistake. 

The center, located near the Vysočanská metro stop, will be open from Monday through Thursday between 8:00 and 15:00 and on Fridays between 8:00 and 14:00. Staff at the center will aid refugees, just as they did before the closure, with arranging their residence permits, health insurance, and other legalities. 

The City of Prague, nevertheless, will not be offering refugees from Ukraine any accommodation because it claims its capacities are full, with the exception of the emergency refugee camps and capacities on its territory that are administered by the state's Refugee Facilities Administration. The reopening was decided by the capital's own Crisis Team at the close of June, but the mayor alleges the decision was "ordered" by the Government. 

Hřib calls the reopening the wrong decision because he believes the state should first complete the design of a system for reallocating refugees from an allegedly overburdened Prague to locations outside the capital. According to Czech Interior Ministry data, since the beginning of Russia's invasion of Ukraine more than four months ago, about 377,000 refugees have been given residency, 89,000 of them in the capital.

agw, ČTK, translated by Gwendolyn Albert
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