Monday, 23 October 2017

Opposition shares govt's negative stance on refugee quotas

ČTK |
6 June 2017

Prague, June 5 (CTK) - The Czech political opposition supports the decision not to accept any further refugees based on the EU quotas for their redistribution among the member states, which the centre-left government of Bohuslav Sobotka (Social Democrats, CSSD) made at its meeting today.

MP Jana Cernochova (right-wing opposition Civic Democrats, ODS) said the government made the right decision, though it may seem a populist gesture a few months before the parliamentary election.

The ODS considers the redistribution quotas an infringement on the rights of sovereign states, she said.

Communist (opposition KSCM) deputy chairman Jiri Dolejs said the Czech Republic has been against the quotas imposed on it from the beginning of the migrant crisis. The government should act rather than just talk, he told CTK.

Marek Zenisek, deputy head of the right-wing opposition TOP 09, said he shares the view that the quota system is bad and can never work.

"But I cannot believe that our country would be unable to help more than 12 people who pass the security checks," Zenisek said.

Mayors and Independents (centrist opposition STAN) leader Petr Gazdik also said he supports the government's decision. He called on the government to try to deal with the issue on the highest EU level. "The European Commission has presented no reasonable concept so far," Gazdik said.

He said the EU lacks a general attitude to refugees. Countries need to coordinate their steps in this respect, he added.

The Czech government agreed today that it will not accept any further migrants from Italy and Greece based on the quotas, also due to the worsened security situation, Interior Minister Milan Chovanec (CSSD) said.

The Czech Republic has taken over 12 refugees from Greece, although it ought to accept about 2,600 people by September according to the quotas. By May 12, only about 18,400 people were resettled within the EU programme that planned the redistribution of 160,000 refugees among the member countries. Up to 35,000 refugees may be resettled by September.

kva/dr/rtj

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