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FinMin fears Turkey might blackmail EU over migration

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Prague, Feb 22 (CTK) – Turkey might blackmail the European Union after the EU summit last week and the Union should show that it is not only a bureaucratic body, but that it is capable of tackling problems, Czech Finance Minister Andrej Babis (ANO) told CTK on Monday.

Babis spoke to CTK after a meeting with Polish opposition leader Ryszard Petru.

EU leaders agreed in Brussels on Thursday that Greece and Turkey fulfilling their commitments is a priority now. According to a plan from last year, Ankara is to reduce the number of people leaving for Europe and fight the network of people smugglers. A special summit with Turkey’s participation is to be held in early March.

Babis said the EU has not been capable of dealing with problems.

“We have been talking about quotas for one year, while everyone knows that this is a nonsense. I am afraid that now, we will be talking with Turkey for one year, that it will be blackmailing us,” Babis said.

The European countries should also take the proposal of the Visegrad Group (V4) to block the migrant route along the northern Greek-Macedonian and Greek-Bulgarian border into account if cooperation with Turkey failed, Babis said.

The V4 is comprised of the Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland and Slovakia.

“This [the V4 proposal] did not make it through which is a mistake. All alternatives must be taken into account, including the construction of a fence along the Bulgarian and Macedonian border,” Babis said.

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