Government approves memorandum on lifting US visas


The Czech government has approved a draft memorandum on lifting the visa requirement for Czechs travelling to the United States. Prime Minister Mirek Topolánek is expected to sign the document during his visit to the United States, which starts on Monday evening. The memorandum between the Czech government and the US Department of Homeland Security is likely to result in the abolition of tourist visas for Czech citizens before the end of 2008.

The daily Hospodářské Noviny reported on Monday that the Czech Republic will have to hand detailed data on its passengers to the US authorities in exchange for inclusion in the US visa-waiver programme. Czech Interior Minister Ivan Langer has denied the allegations, but declined to disclose the details of the text.