Prague Castle likely to remove security checkpoints this spring

According to Czech Interior Minister Vít Rakušan, the main security checkpoint at Prague Castle should become a thing of the past after April. Staff

Written by Staff Published on 12.03.2023 09:39:00 (updated on 12.03.2023) Reading time: 2 minutes

The security checkpoints at Prague Castle should soon become a thing of the past, Interior Minister Vít Rakušan told Czech Television this weekend. An evaluation of the checkpoints is currently underway and will be concluded in April. After that, officials will decide on their future form.

According to Rakušan, the main security checkpoint outside of the entrance to Prague Castle will most likely disappear this spring. The Interior Minister added that smaller checkpoints at entrances to individual locations within the Castle could replace it.

The controversial security checkpoints were introduced at Prague Castle in 2016 under former Czech President Miloš Zeman, who was supplanted by Petr Pavel last week. Castle officials originally stated that they were introduced for the safety of guests.

Critics, however, have claimed that they are unnecessary and only lead to long queues outside the entrance. According to the Interior Minister, the security checks are now being evaluated and will be removed or altered in the coming months.

"The verification of the measures by the entire security community, [including] the police, is happening right now," Rakušan told Czech Television.

"The results should be [ready] in April. During our first meeting, President [Pavel] and I agreed that the while the area should be controlled somehow, it must look completely different than it does now."

Rakušan added that Prague Castle officials under Miloš Zeman were in favor of cancelling the security checkpoint when the issue was raised early last year. However, the discussion was postponed following the Russian invasion of Ukraine.

According to the Interior Minister, the main checkpoint at Prague Castle could actually contradict its intended purpose. Having a large grouping of people in front of the Castle could make them vulnerable to a potential attack.

Instead, Rakušan says the security measures at Prague Castle will look completely different later this spring. "It is possible that the [security checks] may remain in some form somewhere. There may be random checks or closer monitoring of the area," he added.

“Prague Castle is a symbol of Czech statehood,” Rakušan previously said when the issue came up last year.

“It belongs to all of us. And we are not all terrorists, as we may now feel when we visit it. I have asked the relevant institutions to review all the security measures that have created a war fortification around the castle.”

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