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PM Sobotka: Europe is on fateful crossroads

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Prague, June 18 (CTK) – Europe is on a fateful crossroads again, the solution to the migration crisis needs cooperation and solidarity and compulsory quotas for the refugees are a bad solution that may eventually cause Europe’s disintegration, Czech Prime Minister Bohuslav Sobotka said Thursday.

“At the moment, Europe is on a fateful crossroads again,” Sobotka (Social Democrats, CSSD) said at the extraordinary session in the Chamber of Deputies devoted to the immigration crisis.

The quotas may serve as a sort of invitation card to the EU and the people smugglers’ criminal business might increase, Sobotka warned.

The Czech Republic is ready to increase its solidarity activities on a bilateral basis with Greece, Italy and Austria, he added.

Interior Minister Milan Chovanec (CSSD) said due to the immigration crisis, the Czech Republic was increasing its checks in the trains from Hungary and on some selected roads in the border regions.

“The immigration crisis requires a very strong cooperation of individual member countries,” Sobotka said, adding that no country alone would solve the problem.

The solution to the crisis requires a necessary extent of solidarity within the EU, he added.

However, the compulsory quotas proposed by the EC are no good solution, Sobotka said.

“I consider the quotas a part of the bad solution,” Sobotka said.

“I am afraid that if passed, they will be grist in the mill for extremists, grist in the mill for xenophobes, for the fringe currents that may eventually be as strong as to disintegrate Europe,” he added.

The immigration crisis is as serious or perhaps more serious than the situation in eastern Ukraine, Sobotka said.

Hundreds of thousands of people are coming to Europe from the countries in which the central governments have fallen apart, he added.

Last year, 170,000 immigrants came to Europe through the central Mediterranean route, but this year as many as 47,000 to Italy alone, Sobotka said

The extraordinary session of the Chamber of Deputies was called on the proposal of the opposition TOP 09, the Civic Democratic Party (ODS) and the Dawn.

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