Europe's Border Set to Move Farther East

Passport-free zone adds 9 nations—and some new worries
By Jason Farago,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 19, 2007 2:51 PM CST
People cross the border between Slovakia and Ukraine in the eastern Slovakian village of Velke Slemence on June 12, 2007. Slovakia is reinforcing and improving its border monitoring system to fulfil the...   (Associated Press)
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(Newser) – The Iron Curtain moves east Friday as nine countries in Eastern Europe join the no-passport-needed Schengen travel zone, allowing citizens to travel from Estonia to Portugal. As many of the new EU member states join the zone, the Times of London travels to the Slovenia-Croatia border, one of the spots where security is being tightened to keep illegal immigrants out.

Brussels is throwing money at border police, beefing up fences, and equipping officers with everything from motorbikes to electric-powered skis. But from the Baltics to the Balkans, the new border is full of holes, as one bar in the former Yugoslavia makes clear. Its billiards table straddles the border; the bathroom on the Slovene side is called the "EUrinal."