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FT.com / Europe - Europe warns US over visa plans

American plans that could force Europeans to give two-days' notice before flying to the US would hinder last-minute business travel, the EU's security chief has warned.

Franco Frattini wants to ensure that US moves possibly to extend visa-free travel arrangements to all 27 EU member states do not create new hurdles to transatlantic business.

A scheme under consideration by US Congress proposes that the current US visa waiver programme be extended to former communist countries in central and eastern Europe, easing tensions with allies such as Poland and the Czech Republic.

But new security checks would be carried out on all Europeans before travel on a system based on the Australian model of electronic travel authorisations.

Under the proposals, European travellers would give passport and other details to the US authorities electronically, either personally or through travel agents.

by Fran on Sat Jul 14th, 2007 at 01:34:20 AM EST
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