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August 11, 2022



Czech Republic setting up another refugee camp, state has yet to say how many refugees they have vetted for dual citizenship, three regions publish data showing 11 dual citizens found so far

7.6.2022 13:27
Nové domky u Rozvadova, Czech Republic, the location where yet another refugee camp for Romani refugees from Ukraine could be built. (PHOTO: Czech Television)
Nové domky u Rozvadova, Czech Republic, the location where yet another refugee camp for Romani refugees from Ukraine could be built. (PHOTO: Czech Television)

The Czech Education Ministry agrees to the use of its land at Nové domky u Rozvadova in the Tachov district for the construction of a camp for refugees from Ukraine, Deputy Director of Firefighters Petr Ošlejšek said after yesterday's meeting of the Central Crisis Team. The refugee camp would have capacities for about 150 people, like the ones in the Malešice and Troja quarters of Prague.

The ministry has stated that the stakeholders are dealing with the details. Governor of the Plzeň Region Rudolf Špoták (Pirates) told the Czech News Agency (ČTK) that the Regional Authority still needs information in writing on what types of tents and other equipment the state will supply.

According to Špoták, it will be only on the basis of such information that the Regional Authority will find out whether a refugee camp can actually be created at Nové domky. The Czech authorities are referring to these refugee camps with the term "tent cities".

"At present, it has been agreed that the Education Ministry consents to the use of the land," Deputy Director of Firefighters Ošlejšek told reporters. According to him, the Regional Authority will now negotiate with the Education Ministry on the spot.

Ošlejšek said the firefighters will find out what the spatial possibilities and access to electricity and water are like on the plot of land. Within 20 hours of the Regional Authority asking the firefighters to do so, they are able to start construction and, 12 hours after that, to hand over the tents for use.

"The Ministry of Education, Youth and Sport is currently negotiating the details with other parties," ministry spokesperson Aneta Lednová told ČTK. The Plzeň Regional Authority sent its request to the ministry for permission to build a refugee tent camp for Romani refugees from Ukraine on the land last week.

The authority said it needs the Education Ministry's permission to use the Nové domky locality, as the former school there and its adjacent land belong to the state. Czech Deputy Interior Minister Radek Kaňa told reporters after today's Crisis Team meeting that during this state of emergency, the Regional Authority did not actually need the approval of the Crisis Team, because the competence to act is held by the regional governor.

Kaňa also said he is pleased the Plzeň Regional Authority has taken up the idea of ​​building what he called a "tent city". According to him, all of the equipment and tents should be supplied from the material reserves of the state.

The Crisis Team did not take action on any other locations for refugee camps today, according to Kaňa. However, Regional Governor Špoták told ČTK he needs information about the equipment that will be provided from the reserves of the state to be supplied to him in writing.

According to Špoták, the Regional Authority will begin dealing with the construction of the camp only after the Central Crisis Team instructs the material reserves of the state (SSHR) to comply with the Regional Authority's request. "Then we have to design the project," the Regional Governor said.

"We need to know what they will be giving us and if it can be built accordingly. That means whether we will bring it [the equipment] to Nové domky at all," Špoták said.

"Ultimately we might have to deal with a bigger space, substantially, such as the airport in Lisen (near Plzeň)," Špoták speculated. According to him, the reason his request was sent to the Crisis Team is that numbers of Romani refugees from Ukraine are beginning to increase in the region and their vetting, which lasted previously between 24 to 48 hours, has been extended to 80 hours.

Until these refugees are checked for dual Hungarian-Ukrainian citizenship, they cannot receive social benefits or temporary protection visas, which means they cannot be registered, which means the Regional Authority cannot arrange housing for them in the usual way. That means accommodation has to be created on an emergency basis for this group by the Regional Authority.

Czech state authorities have yet to indicate how many citizens of Ukraine have been rejected for temporary protection during the three months of this crisis because they are dual citizens of both Hungary and Ukraine. The Czech Interior Ministry has failed to respond to questions from news server about this issue.

Even public broadcaster Czech Television has not been successful, with all but three Regional Authorities refusing to answer their questions about this issue. According to the available data, it is absolutely a marginal phenomenon that some refugees from Ukraine in the Czech Republic are citizens of both Hungary and Ukraine.

In the Plzeň Region, of 67 refugees vetted, 11 proved to be dual citizens; in the Karlovy Vary Region, of 109 refugees vetted, none were dual citizens; and in the Vysočina Region none of the 69 refugees vetted were dual citizens either. In this sample, just 4 percent of refugees from Ukraine are citizens of both the EU Member State of Hungary and of Ukraine.  

Numbers of refugees with dual citizenship. (SOURCE: Czech Television)
ČTK, ryz, translated by Gwendolyn Albert
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