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22. 11. 2010 10:51

Czech Prime Minister Asks German President to Relax Border Inspections

Czech Prime Minister Petr Nečas meets with German President Christian Wulff

One of the topics of bilateral talks was the inspections of Czech citizens by Bavarian and Saxon police in the border regions. "I requested of the president that the German side understand that this is a very sensitive issue for us. It could create an impression of selective measures against Czechs, and I asked him for greater flexibility on the part of German authorities with regards to removing or weakening these inspections," the prime minister said after the meeting.

Christian Wullf

According to Nečas, there is a difference between the Czech-Saxon border, where the inspections are more relaxed, and the Czech-Bavarian border, where they are very strict. "At times when there is daylight and when it is clear that Czech drivers have their headlights turned on, these cars are pulled out of traffic and inspected. We truly view this as not being a good step," the prime minister added.
German President Wulff said he would also welcome improved relations between Bavaria and the Czech Republic and an official visit by the Bavarian minister-president to Prague. "We are aware of an entire range of sensitive points in these relations and we are not preventing a debate on an official visit by Minister-President Seehofer to Prague. We are convinced that a possible visit must make a positive contribution to Czech-German relations, and not be something that would complicate Czech-German relations," Nečas said.

After the talks, the prime minister also commented on German interest in purchasing the Lobkowicz Palace, which is now being rented by the German embassy. "The Lobkowicz Palace matters to the German side because it represents a piece of German history. In the fall of 1989, it was announced to thousands of refugees from the former East Germany that they had the ability to leave to democratic parts of Germany," the Czech prime minister said.

The Czech Foreign Ministry is now considering an exchange of the palace for a corresponding property or building in the center of Berlin where a new Czech embassy could be opened. According to the prime minister, the offer must be one that is adequate for the Czech side.

Among the other topics of the joint meeting were economic relations, joining the euro, the situation in the eurozone and completing the construction of the Temelín nuclear power plant. A discussion also took place on the so-called Eastern Partnership, or in other words the EU's relations with countries to the east of EU Member States.

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