'Schengen' now has 24 states
Brussels, December 21, 2007
Celebrations have been held after midnight to mark nine new states joining a European border-free zone.
The Schengen agreement, which allows passport-free travel across the area, now embraces 24 nations.
Some 2,000 people celebrated with the EU anthem, Beethoven's Ode to Joy, and fireworks in the town of Frankfurt on Oder at Germany's border with Poland.
The Czech Republic, Estonia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Malta, Poland, Slovakia, Slovenia joined the zone.