Prague, Nov 8 (CTK) – Czech Interior Minister Milan Chovanec yesterday labelled scandalous the words of some EU politicians who have described the Czechs and the other Visegrad Four (V4) states as unreliable in tackling migration, and he warned that such attacks might foment anti-EU moods in the states concerned.
“In recent days, some European politicians and also EC officials have intensified their efforts to describe the Czech Republic and other V4 states as countries that fail to fulfil their duties in tackling illegal migration. The offensive includes open extortion, or threats to reduce the subsidies we receive from structural funds, unless we start accepting migrants from Italy and Greece at a pace that would make the two countries satisfied,” Chovanec (Social Democrats, CSSD) wrote to CTK in a press release.
The V4’s other members are Hungary, Poland and Slovakia.
He wrote that the Czech Republic, unlike Italy and Greece, does fulfil its commitments, including those related to granting asylum.
Chovanec said the verbal attacks mean “an extremely dangerous and far-from-constructive approach” that may lead the EU into a permanent political crisis.
“If the goal of the permanent attacks on the V4’s realistic policy is to dismantle European integration, let the European politicians continue raising the accusations,” Chovanec added.
In a letter released on Monday, the EU commissioner for migration and internal affairs, Dimitris Avramopoulos, called on the V4 members to join the approved programme of redistribution of migrants from Italy and Greece.
However, Central and Eastern European countries have been opposed to the migrant quotas from the beginning.
Last week, the V4’s approach was also sharply criticised by the Greek Minister for Migration Yannis Muzalas, who accused the V4 of sabotaging the EU plan of migrant redistribution.