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V4 PMs don’t want to delay Schengen zone enlargement

The prime ministers of Slovakia, the Czech Republic, Hungary and Poland have taken a common stance against Austria's demands that the Visegrad Four (V4) countries' accession to the Schengen zone, which is currently scheduled for January 1, 2008, be delayed.

During their summit in Bratislava on 18 June, the prime ministers also rejected a proposal that would allow Austria to keep operating border controls for four months longer than currently planned.

"We have to stress to our Austrian colleagues that we don't agree with this, as there aren't two kinds of Schengen," said Hungarian Prime Minister Ferenc Gyurcsany.

Slovakia and the Czech Republic won the support of the Polish and Hungarian primer ministers for the EU Nuclear Forum, which would be held alternately in Bratislava and Prague.

The V4 premiers also reiterated their request that the US visa requirements for their countries be cancelled. They expect that Portugal will continue exerting pressure on Washington in this matter during its six-month EU presidency, ehich begins July 1.

Compiled by Zuzana Vilikovská from press reports
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