Prague, Aug 29 (CTK) – A group of eight refugees arrived in the Czech Republic last week based on EU quotas for the relocation of refugees from Greece or Italy, the Interior Ministry told CTK yesterday, adding that the number of such refugees in the Czech Republic totals 12 now.
The eight refugees have undergone security checks and the ministry has launched the usual procedure of granting international protection to them.
The Czech Republic is supposed to accept 2,691 people from Greece and Italy, the two countries most burdened by the migrant crisis, by the end of 2017.
The Czech Republic originally voluntarily joined the relocation programme last year by pledging to accept 1,100 refugees from Greece or Italy.
Later the EU negotiations further raised the number of refugees allocated to the Czech Republic by 1,591, though the Czech Republic was among a few countries that voted against the extension of the original quotas.
This February, the Czech Republic offered to accept 20 people from Greece and 10 from Italy.
Following the security checks of the potential immigrants, four Syrian refugees arrived from Greece at the end of April.
Originally, seven Syrians were to arrive but three of them left the Greek refugee facility where they waited for the transfer.
As for the remaining 13 persons, the Czech Republic refused to accept them based on the security checks results. These people lacked enough documents to verify their identity.
Another eight people, members of two families, arrived from Greece now.
It is a group that was chosen for resettlement in July.
“Originally, 11 people were to come to our country, but finally only eight arrived based on our security interviews with them,” the ministry’s spokeswoman Lucie Novakova told CTK.
The EU quotas concern the emergency relocation of 120,000 asylum seekers from Italy and Greece.
According to the Czech Interior Ministry, only 3,947 people were resettled across the EU by mid-August. The relocation mechanism has been rather slow and ineffective so far, the ministry said.
No refugees will be transferred from Turkey in the Czech Republic based on the EU-Ankara deal on reduction of migration this year, Czech Interior Minister Milan Chovanec said on Sunday.