NEWS BRIEFS

Zeman: Šimko is an amateur

Czech Prime Minister Miloš Zeman called Slovak Interior Minister Ivan Šimko's refusal to discuss any change in the relaxed cross-border policy for nationals of their two countries "deeply amateur".

His words were rebuffed by Slovak Prime Minister Mikuláš Dzurinda, who said Šimko's stance was that of the united Slovak government.

Slovaks and Czechs can still use only identity cards to cross their joint border.

The European Union has pressed the two countries to tighten controls to stem the tide of illegal immigrants, especially those ferried across the Czech border by Slovak and Czech nationals under the light frontier checks.

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