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EC President disappointed at Czech rejection of refugees

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Prague, June 8 (CTK) – European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker expressed his disappointment at the recent Czech government decision not to accept any migrants within the quota system anymore, Czech Senate chairman Milan Stech told CTK after talks with Juncker who arrived in Prague today.

“(Juncker) was reserved on the migration issue. He told us that the stance of our government did not make him happy at all, but that the issue must be negotiated,” Stech said.

Juncker did not try to force the Czech representatives to change their position, he added.

The meeting with Juncker was also attended by the head of the other house of Czech parliament, Chamber of Deputies chairman Jan Hamacek.

In his speech at Prague’s Charles University earlier today, Juncker said the Czech Republic should show solidarity in dealing with the refugee crisis as it accepts aid from the European Union.

Stech said Juncker rejected the view that the Czech Republic should be stripped of its subsidies from the EU structural funds because of its negative stance on the relocation quotas. He said it was a shame that the Czechs resettled merely 12 asylum seekers from Greece and Italy within the quota system.

On Friday, the DESCOP Defence and Security Conference will be held in Prague under the auspices of Juncker and Czech Prime Minister Bohuslav Sobotka.

Juncker, Stech and Hamacek also discussed common European defence, Brexit and the future of the EU.

“We cannot afford some new structures that would cost a lot of money. “We must effectively use the present capacities,” Stech said.

He said EU stability seems to be threatened by economic differences between individual member states, which divide Europe not only between the rich North and the poor South but also between the East and the West.

Senate spokeswoman Eva Davidova said Stech mentioned the problem of capital outflow from the Czech Republic.

The analyses Stech handed over to Juncker show that in the past ten years, the money outflow exceeded the investments and subsidies coming from the EU by almost 90 billion euros, mainly due to the distribution of dividends, Davidova said.

“Resources have been literally disappearing from the Czech Republic, in tax havens above all. We must jointly exert pressure mainly on big retail chains and banks so that they reinvest money in the Czech Republic in infrastructure, education etc,” Stech said.

According to Davidova, Juncker admitted that the way some big investors behave in this respect should change.


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