Germany still restricts border crossing despite Schengen enlargement

Updated: 2007-12-22 11:42

Prague -- Germany kept a restricted operation regime at the local border crossing Tillyschanz-Zelezna on Friday in spite of Czech's entry into the Schengen Zone at midnight Thursday, according to the Czech news agency CTK.

The Germans still allow the crossing to be used only by drivers with car number plates of the Bavarian districts Weiden, Neustadt and Schwandorf.

Germans from other districts are not allowed to cross the border in Eslarn-Zelezna, CTK said.

A board with the relevant restricting instruction, situated in front of Eslarn, Bavaria's town closest to the crossing, has not been removed, Libor Picka, mayor of the Czech town Bela nad Radbuzou said.

It will reportedly remain in its place for the next three years until a bypass of Eslarn is completed, Picka added.

Neustadt land counselor Simon Wittmann said in the local press that the residents of Eslarn can stay calm as he would not allow the crossing to be opened to trans-regional and freight transport until the Eslarn bypass is completed.

Czech Mayors of towns in the west Bohemian districts of Domazlice and Tachov, which border on Bavaria, are annoyed by the restriction.

"The purpose of the plan (Schengen system without border checks) has not been met. The whole Czech Republic is in the Schengen area, but our region is the only not to be there. This goes counter to law," said Picka.

Tillyschanz-Zelezna, in operation since 1992, is the most advantageous border crossing for drivers arriving along the A6 motorway from Nuremberg and Regensburg. Up to now, it has been used by about 2,000 cars a day.

Nine European Union (EU) new member states, including the Czech Republic officially joined the passport-free Schengen Area from 0: 00 a.m. Friday (2300 GMT).

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