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Fischer, Zeman disagree on migration

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Prague, April 11 (CTK) – Czech President Milos Zeman and his Austrian counterpart Heinz Fischer have doubts about the agreement on the return of refugees between the EU and Turkey, but their views of migration differ, they said after their talks yesterday.
Zeman repeated that he was against the redistribution of migrants among EU countries according to quotas.
Fischer said European countries should deal with the problem jointly and that Vienna was demanding fairness in the redistribution.
He said there was the question of how to ensure the fairness.
“No single country in Europe, including Germany, is able to solve the problem itself,” Fischer said.
“This is why Austria is calling for a fair redistribution,” Fischer said.
Zeman primarily insists on a district distinction between economic and political migrants.
Fischer said the views also differed because the positions and problems of Austria differed from the position given purely by the Czech Republic’s geography.
“If there is a big problem in Europe, all EU countries should share it in a fair way and cooperate on a solution to the problem,” he added.
The debate on the redistribution of hundreds of thousands of refugees from the Middle East according to quotas started after the recent European Commission’s proposal to reform the EU asylum policy.
The Czech government and Zeman have repeatedly refused the migrants’ redistribution in all EU members.
Zeman said since all migrants wanted to go to Germany, the quota system would not work.
This is evidenced by the recent arrival of Christian refugees from Iraq who came to the Czech Republic within a resettlement programme, Zeman said.
Some of them have decided to leave the Czech Republic and moved to Germany.
Now the two countries are negotiating their return to the Czech Republic.
Fischer said there was the question of whether the quotas would ensure a fair participation of all countries or whether there was still a different alternative.
Fischer said next year a joint history book should be published. He said he believed history would not divide the nations.

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