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PM: ČR not to file complaint about refugee quotas

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Prague, Oct 8 (CTK) – The Czech Republic will not join the Slovak complaint about temporary refugee quotas within the UE not to fall into isolation in negotiations about permanent migrant quotas that it wants to reject, Prime Minister Bohuslav Sobotka (Social Democrats, CSSD) said Thursday.

“Our goal is not to bring the Czech Republic into isolation within the European Union, but on the contrary, to prepare the ground for pushing through our arguments. It would be meaningless to act in a way that would frustrate our communication with other member countries where our arguments would no longer be listened to and would not be taken seriously,” Sobotka said.

He was answering Petr Bendl (opposition Civic Democrats, ODS) during the Question Time in the Chamber of Deputies Thursday.

Sobotka said the 3000 refugees who will be assigned to the Czech Republic within the one-off relocation are not of key importance.

“What is of key importance is the permanent redistribution mechanism that should not be approved. We must use all our forces to prevent this. Unlike the permanent mechanism, the one-off one is something that will end,” Sobotka said.

Sobotka said if Slovakia succeeded with its complaint, the abolition of the one-off redistribution of refugees would apply to all EU countries.

Bendl reacted saying that Sobotka is hiding behind Slovakia even though the Czech Republic, too, has been affected by the decision on one-off quotas that it was rejecting.

“You do not behave like the prime minister of the Czech Republic,” but as a deputy prime minister of Slovakia,” Bendl told Sobotka.

Sobotka dismissed this saying the Czech Republic was not harmed by the one-off quotas. However, together with Slovakia, it was outvoted at the EU interior ministers’ meeting in Brussels.

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