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Czechs not to accept any refugee based on quotas

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Prague, June 5 (CTK) – The Czech Republic will not accept any further migrants from Italy and Greece based on the quotas for the redistribution of refugees across the EU, also due to the worsened security situation, Interior Minister Milan Chovanec (Social Democrats, CSSD) said after a cabinet meeting today.

He said the one-off mechanism of quotas is to end in September and the Czech Republic will not be active anymore.

Chovanec presented the country’s negative stance on accepting refugees already in May.

The Czech Republic has taken over 12 refugees from Greece, although it ought to accept about 2,600 people by September according to the quotas. Since May 2016, the Czechs have not offered resettlement for any refugee within the EU programme that planned the redistribution of 160,000 refugees among the member countries. By May 12, only about 18,400 people were resettled within the programme.

According to a recent report, approximately 12,400 migrants have been waiting in Greece for resettlement. In Italy, about 2,500 refugees have been registered for resettlement and further 1,800 refugees are to get registered by September. In total, up to 35,000 may be resettled by then.

The Czech cabinet said today it considers the quota system non-functional.

It discussed the report on refugee quotas in a confidential regime, but it released its resolution on the report.

The cabinet ordered that the Interior Ministry end all activities related to possible resettlement within the quota system.

Chovanec said the cabinet took the step in reaction to EU Commissioner for Migration and Home Affairs Dimitris Avramopoulos who recently called on the member states to meet their pledges.

He said the ministry would prepare the country’s defence for possible proceedings that the European Commission might start against the country for not meeting the commitment. He said the Czech Republic might be fined up to tens of millions of euros.

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