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ForMin: Removal of EU differences would solve migrant crisis

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Prague, June 15 (CTK) – The removal of economic differences between EU countries is a precondition for solving the migrant crisis, Czech Foreign Minister Lubomir Zaoralek said at the Prague European Summit conference dealing with the EU’s future on Thursday.

Only after the living standards are comparable in all EU countries, the immigrants who come to Europe for economic reasons will spread evenly across the EU, Zaoralek (Social Democrats, CSSD) said.

He said he considers the growing social and economic inequality the cause of the crises faced by Europe.

The migrants heading for the EU are well aware that living standards differ in the rich and the poorer member countries. “This is why the migration burden has been spread so unevenly in Europe, which makes it so difficult to achieve its even distribution,” Zaoralek said.

People naturally switch to the countries where they have a better chance of a successful life, he said.

The migrant quotas binding EU countries to divide tens of thousands of migrants among themselves are therefore not a way to solve the migrant pressure, Zaoralek continued.

“The answer to the problem is evidently the economic and social convergence between the EU countries, rather than attempts to distribute people based on quotas, as if they were immovable items that remain in a place the EC has chosen for them,” Zaoralek said.

In a discussion with EC Vice-President Franz Timmermans on migration-related risks, Zaoralek said a number of recent terrorist attacks involve people coming from different cultural conditions.

He said such barbarous acts do not occur in the Czech Republic because there are no terrorists among the Ukrainians or the Vietnamese, who rank among the country’s strongest foreign minorities.

Opposing Zaoralek, Timmermans said the terrorist perpetrators are mostly the offspring of immigrants, not people from refugee camps.

He said he understands it that in the Czech Republic and other countries that have no experience with migration, people are afraid and want to avert mistakes Western Europe has made.

Nevertheless, he said he disagrees with the idea that mothers with children fleeing a war pose a security risk.

Zaoralek also spoke about a crisis faced by social democratic parties in the EU. He said he considers it dangerous for these parties to be replaced in political systems by radicals or parties without a clear programme.

The declining position of social democracies is also connected with the society’s division into those rich and the poor, Zaoralek added.

Timmermans said last week’s British election showed that a new generation of Europeans, which has been politically inactive so far, is starting to influence developments in Europe.

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