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CzechRep, Hungary interested in removing barriers in EU

Czech PM Mirek Topolanek believes that the Czech Republic and Hungary have a joint interest in removing barriers in Europe, he said in Budapest.

Czech PM Mirek Topolanek said that the removing of barriers will be the main topic of the Czech presidency of the European Union in 2009. „In 1989 we cut barbed wires at our borders, next New Year we want to remove the lifting barriers from the crossings,” he said, referring to the fall of communism in eastern Europe and to the planned extension of the Schengen area.

The Czech prime minister took part in the opening of Budapest's 30th Travel International Touristic Exhibition, whose main partner country the Czech Republic is this year. He said that the Czech Republic should attract tourists not only to Prague, Cesky Krumlov and Karlovy Vary, but to other interesting localities in its regions. According to the Czech Statistical Office, 95,000 Hungarian tourists visited the Czech Republic in 2006, which is a figure 13 percent lower than in 2005.

CzechTourism agency plans to launch in April a campaign that would encourage Hungarians to visit the country and especially the less known regions. Topolanek recalled that under communism he liked to go to Hungary and he remembered his vacations at Lake Balaton. He also spoke about the special food and meals he liked, such as smoked Hungarian salami, goulash, pörkölt and Tokaj wine. He also named several Hungarian rock groups from the communist era which he liked to listen to then. On Friday, Topolanek is to meet his Hungarian counterpart Ferenc Gyurcsány and Hungarian President Laszló Sólyom. (ceskenoviny.cz)