Czech authorities reopen refugee reception center in Prague’s Vysočany district

The Regional Assistance Center for Aid to Ukraine in Prague (2022) (PHOTO: Lukáš Cirok)

Prague City Hall today reopened the regional center for refugees from Ukraine in its Vysočany neighborhood after closing it in mid-June due to what it claims are a high number of refugees from Ukraine in the capital, and city officials announced that they would no longer be offering refugees more long-term accommodation in municipally owned properties. Prague Mayor Zdeněk Hřib (Pirates) said the reopening was based on a government decision he called a mistake.

The center, located near the Vysočanská metro station, will be open Monday to Thursday from 8:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. and Friday from 8:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. Staff at the center will help refugees, as they did before the closure, with arranging residence permits, health insurance and other legal formalities.

The city of Prague, nevertheless, will not offer any accommodation to refugees from Ukraine as it claims that its capacities are full, except for emergency refugee camps and capacities on its territory which are administered by the administration. state refugee facilities. The reopening was decided by the capital’s own crisis team at the end of June, but the mayor alleges the decision was “ordered” by the government.

Hřib calls the reopening a bad decision because he believes the state should first complete the design of a system for relocating refugees from a supposedly overcrowded Prague to places outside the capital. According to data from the Czech Interior Ministry, since the start of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine more than four months ago, around 377,000 refugees have been granted residency, including 89,000 in the capital.

Berta D. Wells