Friday, 23 June 2017

Gov't commissioner to deal with Kvasiny industrial zone

ČTK |
21 April 2017

Hradec Kralove, East Bohemia, April 20 (CTK) - A Czech government commissioner should deal with the further development of and the situation in the Kvasiny-Solnice industrial zone in the Hradec Kralove Region, Interior Minister Milan Chovanec told reporters after signing a cooperation memorandum on Thursday.

Besides, the ministry plans to establish a coordination centre for foreigners who end up in troubles.

The memorandum, signed by Chovanec (Social Democrats, CSSD) and the Hradec Kralove Region, will tackle problems connected with the employment of foreigners in industrial zones.

"We have agreed that I as a government member would propose and support the establishment of the institute of a government commissioner for this area or possibly an entrusted employee of the Industry and Trade Ministry since one person must be in charge of this task full time as a coordinator for municipalities, the region and the state," Chovanec explained.

The coordination centre is supposed to start working as of June. The Interior Ministry, in cooperation with towns, is looking for suitable premises.

The centre's staff will help foreigners solve various situations, for instance the extension of their residence permits. It should also help foreign workers who lose jobs.

"Some foreigners from the EU member countries have already become homeless here and fallen under the social rescue network. We want to lift this burden from municipalities," Chovanec said.

Problems in Kvasiny and its surroundings emerged when thousands of new employees, often foreigners, arrived in the Kvasiny-Solnice industrial zone to primarily work in the expanding Skoda Auto plant. As a consequence, petty crime as well as the number of traffic offences have been rising.

The police started to deal with this situation intensively last September. They reinforced patrols in the locality in January.

On the basis of an agreement between the Interior Ministry and the region, another 36 police officers will reinforce the local corps.

"The permanent presence of the police is really visible. The situation is much calmer than last autumn," Rychnov nad Kneznou Mayor Jan Skorepa said.

The security situation in the Rychnov vicinity has been stabilised, regional police chief David Fulka said.

Skoda Auto has invested billions of crowns to enlarge its plant in Kvasiny massively. The number of its employees increased by 2600 by the end of last year. The plant has some 7000 employees now and it continues recruiting new ones.

Some 10,500 people work in the Solnice-Kvasiny industrial zone, including 3000 foreigners, mainly Poles, but also citizens of other East European countries.

The Hradec Kralove Region wants to more cooperate with the Skoda car maker in the recruitment of new staff, regional governor Jiri Stepan (CSSD) said.

"The car maker has experience with the recruitment of qualified staff abroad, mainly in Ukraine. I can imagine that not only men would come to work here, but that they would be accompanied by their wives and children," Stepan said.

The region primarily lacks health care workers, he added.

It would also like to deepen cooperation with Skoda Auto in secondary education. The car maker has already closely cooperated with the industrial zone in Rychnov nad Kneznou in this respect.

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