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HN: Migrants not to be highlight of Merkel’s visit to Prague

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Prague, Aug 16 (CTK) – Migrants are not the major reason for German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s visit to Prague next week, but there are many other themes that bind the two countries, yesterday’s issue of daily Hospodarske noviny (HN) quotes Tomas Prouza, state secretary for European affairs, as saying.
HN writes that a visit to the unique scientific research and educational centre of the Czech Technical University (CVUT), which is being built in cooperation with German experts for 1.3 billion crowns, will be the highlight of Merkel’s visit on August 25.
HN writes that according to its source, the CVUT visit is part of Czech Prime Minister Bohuslav Sobotka’s effort to divert attention from the hot migration issue and show that relations with Germany are many-faceted.
If migrants were the only point on the talks’ agenda, Merkel’s exclusive visit a couple of weeks before the regional election to be held in October would harm rather than benefit Sobotka, HN writes.
Prouza, who is Sobotka’s close aide, said the Czech-German talks will focus on cooperation in transport and in science and research, and the EU’s future will be an important topic, too.
The new ten-storey CVUT facility will serve Industry 4.0 research and it is to be open to Czech as well as German firms.
The visit of Merkel to Prague, which Czech politicians and diplomats were preparing for two years, will last a mere five hours. She will first have an eye-to-eye meeting with Sobotka. It will be followed by talks between the two countries’ delegations, a visit to CVUT, a meeting with President Milos Zeman and a dinner hosted by Sobotka, HN writes.
According to HN sources, Merkel was also to make a speech at Charles University, but this point was eventually quit for lack of time and “because the present is not suitable for an academic debate.”
The atmosphere before Merkel’s visit is not the best in the Czech Republic where many parties sharply criticise her migrant policy and advise a more cautious stance on Germany, HN writes.
It writes that few politicians will probably have an opportunity to inform Merkel of their opinions, however. Not even First Deputy Prime Minister and ANO head Andrej Babis has been invited to a meeting with her, HN writes.
“I will not probably meet her. But if I met her, I would tell her that I do not agree with her migrant policy of which she has totally lost control and so threatened the security of her people and the whole EU,” Babis, a strong opponents of migrants, said on Monday, HN writes.
He said he would try to persuade her to at last cease to be politically correct, start acting and push the closure of the EU border.
Rudolf Jindrak, former Czech ambassador to Germany who is now Sobotka’s adviser, says Czech politicians should not only focus on migration, HN writes.
“It is not possible to push away all the good that the two countries have done in business, security, transport and many other things during the past 25 years,” HN quotes Jindrak as saying.
($1=24.162 crowns)

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