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PM Babiš: Migration crisis to be solved outside Europe

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Berlin, March 22 (CTK) – The migration crisis must be dealt with in a much more active way outside Europe, Prime Minister Andrej Babis said in an interview with the German paper Die Welt out on Thursday.

Europe needs a modern Marshall Plan to help people right in their countries such as Syria, Babis said.

Babis dismissed the criticism that the Czech Republic did not show any solidarity towards the rest of the EU.

“From our country, ten billion euros from the shares in profit go abroad annually, primarily to the European countries whose firms invest here,” Babis said.

“We are glad that they are here. But they also do good deals here. They often come from the countries that criticise us for a lack of solidarity,” he added.

He warned that the situation in which the Czech Republic was outvoted, such as when the refugee quotas were approved, must not repeat.

“This would be disastrous,” Babis said, warning of the Czech populists who want the Czech Republic to leave the EU.

“I do not want this, I am pro-European,” Babis said.

Babis praised German Interior Minister Horst Seehofer for having told the Sunday paper Welt am Sonntag that in the debate on migration, an arrogant attitude often appeared towards the eastern part of the EU, especially by the European Commission.

“It has been clear that the quotas do not work since the beginning. They divide Europe. This is a pity,” Babis said.

“Simply, we have a different migration history. We have 2500 perfectly integrated Syrians, we have the Vietnamese, Ukrainians, Slovaks,” he added.

“Perhaps the Communist regimes in the East still have an effect on our attitude. The Alternative for Germany was particularly strong in eastern Germany,” Babis said.

He said the migration crisis should be solved “in a much more active way outside Europe.”

The agreement on migration with Turkey, signed two years ago, is good, Babis said.

“Now we need a solution for the route via Italy to Europe,” he added.

Europe must be protected on its outer border. “We have to help the people in Syria and elsewhere right in the place. For this, we need a Marshall Plan. When it comes to migrants, there are lots of models, the Canadian, the Australian ones. Unfortunately, this does not yet fully work here,” Babis said.

He said he was not afraid of the dominance of Germany and France in the planned EU reform.

“No. Both countries have been the driving forces of the integration. However, the big countries must take seriously and respect the view of smaller European countries,” Babis said.

Babis said he was not afraid of the Czech Republic not being a member of the euro zone or a two-speed Europe.

“The euro zone countries are not better off than those outside it. When there is a talk about two-speed Europe, I always ask how the speed is measured,” Babis said.

“We, the Czechs, have an excellent speed. Look at our debts, the budget, the lowest jobless rate, almost the fastest growth,” Babis said.

Babis said he was against new sanctions against Russia over the poisoning of former spy Sergei Skripal in Britain.

“The new sanctions make no sense. They will only allow investors from South Korea, Japan or China to jump in. Besides, German Chancellor Angela Merkel has congratulated Russian President Vladimir Putin on his re-election, stressing the role of dialogue. This is right. We must make a dialogue,” Babis said.

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