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Minister: ČR currently has 680 beds in refugee facilities

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Prague, Sept 24 (CTK) – The Czech Republic now has a free capacity for 680 migrants and 400 more will be added in the forseeable future, Interior Minister Milan Chovanec (Social Democrats, CSSD) said in the Chamber of Deputies’ European committee Thursday.

He warned of a possible further migration wave and again criticised the approved quotas for the relocation of refugees across Europe, which, he said, will not function in practice.

Chovanec said further migration wave may follow next spring. There are 750,000 people in Turkish camps ready to go to Europe.

In Syria, there are 7.6 million internal migrants who may decide to leave it if Russia joins the fighting in the country and the conflict aggravates, Chovanec said.

Europe has by the year’s end to take various measures, he added.

Chovanec said the Czech Republic is not the destination of the refugees.

He said 876 out of the total of 1556 beds are now occupied. One new facility is to be opened in Drahonice, north Bohemia, by the year’s end and another one in Balkova, west Bohemia. Their total capacity will be 400 beds.

The current capacity is at 35 percent of the 1990s.

Referring to the refugee-sharing quotas the EU interior ministers approved on Tuesday in spite of the negative stances by some countries, including the Czech Republic, Chovanec said Prague has no instrument nor right to keep the refugees if they want to go to Germany.

It is not even clear how they will be taken from Italy and Greece to the Czech Republic. “It is almost impossible to implement the plan,” Chovanec said.

Tomas Prouza, state secretary for European affairs, said the Czech Republic will not defend itself against the agreed quotas.

“A real struggle would follow the European Commission’s attempt to propose a permanent resettling mechanism,” Prouza said.

“We are not against solidarity, we are not against providing assistance,” Chovanec said.

But Greece, for instance, has not reacted to Czech offers of aid, he said.

On the other hand, the Czech Republic has supplied tents to Hungary and negotiations about lending lorries to the country are now underway, Chovanec said.

Prouza said it is not clear whether one of the Czech priorities, an improvement of readmission policy, will be technically and financially feasible.

He mentioned various tricks the foreigners use to avoid deportation.

Chovanec spoke about self-damaging and the fact that a person must be controlled by four to six police when flown to the country in which they entered the EU for the first time.

He said he cannot imagine how thousands or dozens of thousands of people could be deported, while it is necessary to distinguish between economic and political migrants.

The lawmakers also spoke about how cases where a refugee arrives with three wives would be resolved.

Committee chairman Ondrej Benesik (Christian Democrats, KDU-CSL) said polygamy is not legal in this country.

Tomas Haisman, from the Interior Ministry, said the woman entered in the applicant’s documents in the first place will be considered the legal wife.

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