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Czech PM Babiš outlines his vision of Europe for Figaro

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Brussels/Prague, June 29 (CTK) – Europe should look like a clearly bordered village of Asterix and Obelix, a village of 27 countries where the free movement of services, goods, capital and people starts finally working, Czech Prime Minister Andrej Babis (ANO) told the French daily Le Figaro out on Friday.

Sanctions against Russia are not working, Babis said.

“When the quotas, not the halt to migration on the European border, started being discussed in 2014, the EU set out on a wrong direction,” Babis said.

“While we were mainly facing economic migration, the EU kept talking about the redistribution of refugees,” he added.

“However, we cannot accept the whole planet. This is claimed not only by the Visegrad countries [the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Poland and Hungary], since we were joined by Austria, Italy, Denmark and Belgium!” Babis said.

The outer EU border should be protected by the border countries such as Greece, Italy and Spain, while the rest should help them financially and by sending police units.

Babis said the powers of the Frontex agency should be changed. It is “receiving hundreds of million euros only to watch the refugees.”

Frontex must fight against people smugglers.

“We should be inspired by Australia, preventing the ships (with migrants) from reaching the European coast in the first place, sorting the asylum seekers outside the EU. Most asylum applications are not approved, but the seekers appeal against the decisions to the courts of individual countries. We must make clear to them that this cannot go on,” Babis said.

Babis said Czechs were not used to multiculturalism.

“In France, you have millions of people from North Africa who came to work and stayed there. The same is in Germany. But people in our country are afraid of the system. There is the extremist movement Freedom and Direct Democracy (SPD), which uses this fear. People are alarmed. They see the bomb attacks, assaults on young girls in Germany. Naturally, this is a great deal of propaganda,” Babis said, replying to the question of whether Europe devotes enough attention to its security and identity.

“In person, I do not wage any campaign against multiculturalism. For long, I was living in Morocco, I have lots of friends there and I adapted myself to the local rules. We were not eating pork and my wife did not wear any t-shirts during the Ramadan. We want the same. The arrivals should respect our way of life.”

” At present, our country has an extremely low jobless rate and a shortage of manpower in all spheres. We lack nurses, doctors, everyone! However, if people are to be able to come here, they need the work permit.”

“I imagine Europe as a village of Asterix and Obelix, a village comprised of 27 countries. For this, its territory should be clearly delineated, at best according to the natural borders along the coastline,” Babis said.

Only then the free movement of goods, services, capital and people can work.

Babis said he was surprised at French President Emmanuel Macron having adopted “the same attitude to migration as Germany 18 months ago, now that Berlin is changing its stance under the pressure of its interior minister who says that he will introduce checks on the German border if Europe does not change its attitude.”

He said he understood from Macron’s words that he wanted to make business with Russia.

“In what does this change from President Milos Zeman who is being accused of being pro-Russian and pro-Chinese! The annexation of Crimea itself is an unfortunate event, but the sanctions do not work. I want both trade and sanctions,” Babis said.

He said Austria and Italy, too, wanted to lift the sanctions against Russia.

Without a dialogue with Russia, the situation in Syria will not be resolved, he said.

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