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Babiš: Result of EU migration summit disappointing

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Prague, Sept 24 (CTK) – Czech President Milos Zeman said Thursday the European Union should send money designed to solve the migrant crisis to states outside Europe, reacting to the results of the EU migration summit on Wednesday, adding that money sent to Europe is wasted.

He said the EU should direct financial aid to the countries which the migrants are leaving or to the neighbouring countries, Jordan or Turkey.

EU prime ministers and presidents agreed on Wednesday to set aside additional money for European agencies focusing on migration.

Further means will be provided for crisis aid to the afflicted EU member countries and in support of the Western Balkan countries that also face a migrant influx.

The politicians also substantially raised the finances in aid of refugees from Syria in Turkey and other Middle East countries.

Andrej Babis, Czech deputy prime minister and finance minister, told CTK that the result of the EU summit is disappointing because the leaders only approved general formulations without any specific conclusions.

Other Czech politicians said the summit conclusions are a step in the correct direction, but it has been taken too late.

“Neither the fundamental problem, which is stopping the illegal flow of migrants, nor the struggle against the people smugglers was resolved,” Babis wrote.

He wrote that the sole specific result is the promise of one billion euros for the world food programme and the U.N. High Commissioner fro Refugees.

Babis wrote that the “hotspots” should be set up outside Europe, for instance, in Turkey, Libya or Tunisia, “not in the countries with the worst financial management in the EU, Greece and Italy, which are failing in both the protection of Schengen and registration of the migrants,” Babis wrote.

Ondrej Benesik, deputy chairman of the junior government Christian Democrats (KDU-CSL), said he can see in the summit conclusions signs of that the European leaders have realised where the core of the problem lies.

Benesik, chairman of the Chamber of Deputies European committee, said not only the consequences of migration, but also its causes have started to be dealt with, but added that the EU has started to do something relatively late.

ANO MEP Pavel Telicka reacted similarly. He said the summit decision is only one step in the right direction. “But it is being taken late and it is not adequate,” he said.

“Much should have been done sooner, this is beyond any doubt. It will not help much that we are discussing it now. Let us do what should be done,” opposition TOP 09 chairman Karel Schwarzenberg told CTK, commenting on the plan to open hotspots in November.

He said it is not sure that the agreed financial aid to refugee camps in the Middle East will be enough for the whole migration wave.

Schwarzenberg said the reinforcing of the protection of the external EU border is needed, but it will not resolve much as the number of migrants is growing.

Jan Zahradil, deputy chairman of the opposition Civic Democrats (ODS), supported the measures approved, but said it will take weeks to implement them.

He said a number of them are rather designed to calm down the public.

Opposition Communists (KSCM) chairman Vojtech Filip, said the summit did not deal with the causes of the migration waves, that is the termination of the war in Syria, so that the migrants could return home.

Miroslav Lidinsky, chairman of Dawn-National Coalition, a marginal party in parliament, said the migrant situation will not change “unless we protect the (Schengen) border by police and soldiers and unless we return illegal immigrants.”

The issue of migrant redistribution quotas should be reopened, but “the Czech government is afraid to do it. Babis fears for subsidies to (his) Agrofert holding, (Prime Minister Bohuslav) Sobotka (Social Democrats, CSSD) does not want to harm his party’s relations with the European socialists,” Lidinsky said.

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