Joining Hungary, Poland, and Slovakia, Czech Prime Minister Andrej Babis rejected the recently proposed German initiative for a quota-based distribution of migrants among EU countries and said that the constantly resurfacing discussions on the matter were confusing.
“We reject illegal migration as a matter of principle. We also reject letting smugglers decide who is going to live in Europe. We reject quotas. I do not understand why there is constantly someone bringing this topic up to the negotiating table. I hope that it will stop within the new European Commission”, Babis said.
Sputnik News (h/t Sara S) Earlier in November, Germany came up with a plan to reform the asylum procedures for irregular migrants arriving in Europe to allow them to get registered and distributed among EU states while still behind the outer borders of the continent. If a migrant is approved for further passage, the country they are assigned to will have to accept them and take care of all further legal procedures.
He stressed that it was the Czech people that the government cared about most of all.
Czech Interior Minister Jan Hamacek, who also serves as deputy prime minister, in turn, said that his country would coordinate its stances on illegal migration with its Visegrad Four partners — Slovakia, Poland, and Hungary.
This quartet of countries has been especially resistant to letting in the enormous wave of migrants from the Middle East and North Africa — this so-called open arms was spearheaded by German Chancellor Angela Merkel in 2015. The Visegrad Four have enshrined anti-immigrant policies into their national legislation, and Hungary even built a razor wire-topped fence along its border with Serbia.