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Czech News in English » Opinion » Kmoníček: Visegrad could be more united also over trade

Kmoníček: Visegrad could be more united also over trade

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Prague, Nov 5 (CTK) – A more remote foreign world unexpectedly starts to perceive the Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland and Slovakia as a bloc of Visegrad countries, Hynek Kmonicek, head of the foreign department of the Czech Presidential Office, told CTK on Thursday.

He said this trend is obvious, for instance, in Latin American countries for which the Visegrad Four (V4) market is more interesting than trade with individual countries.

Kmonicek said the V4 countries are united by their opposition to the mandatory quotas of refugee redistribution across the EU.

Kmonicek said Czech diplomats have of late registered the “unexpected trend” of Latin American countries or Egypt perceiving the Central European nations as a bloc of Visegrad countries.

“These four countries together, including Poland with a population of 40 million, already start to be interesting even for the larger economies,” Kmonicek said.

He said representatives from these countries are interested in connecting their visits to the Czech Republic with visits to other Central European countries.

He mentioned the visit of South Korean President Park Geun-hye who will stay in the Czech Republic on December 1-4.

She will not only meet Czech representatives in Prague, but she will attend a meeting of the V4 prime ministers and will have talks with representatives of Hungary, Poland and Slovakia.

“We may reach a situation where every member of the Visegrad Four will have a historically determined specificity, but at the same time it will represent the whole V4 market in a way,” Kmonicek said.

He said this is facilitated by various ties of the V4 individual countries. If representatives from Egypt, Israel, Palestine or Syria arrive, the Czech Republic will probably play the role of mediator, while Poland could represent a gate for the Francophone Lebanese.

“The foreign pressure may eventually make us act more as one bloc within the European Union,” Kmonicek said.

He said the V4 idea actually envisaged the creation of a bloc similar to Benelux that regularly votes in unity within the EU.

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