Sunday, 17 December 2017

V4 government heads to discuss migration crisis

ČTK |
1 September 2015

Bratislava/Prague, Aug 31 (CTK) - The prime ministers of the Visegrad Four (V4) countries, the Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland and Slovakia, will meet on Friday or Sunday to discuss the migration crisis in Europe, Slovak PM Robert Fico announced yesterday.
Czech Prime Minister Bohuslav Sobotka said later yesterday that the V4 meeting will be held in Prague on Friday afternoon.
Sobotka said the goal of the meeting is to coordinate the positions of the four countries on the issues related to the migration crisis.
Fico said he would like the V4 countries to reject the redistribution of refugees based on mandatory quotas set for each EU member country.
"Our position on the mandatory quotas has remained unchanged," Fico said.
He said the quotas only support organised crime and do not help solve the situation of the refugee influx.
The Visegrad Four rejected the mandatory quotas already at a meeting in Bratislava in June. Earlier this year, the European Commission proposed that mandatory refugee quotas be set for individual EU members, but the EU leaders did not approve the proposal.
Fico said Slovakia supports the building of refugee camps especially in those EU countries that face the refugee influx.
He said "95 percent of the refugees are economic migrants."
"Economic migrants, who have to be returned to the territories from which they came, must be clearly distinguished from those who really need protection," Fico said after a meeting of the Slovak national security council that dealt with the current migration crisis yesterday.
The Prague V4 meeting is likely to support the protection of the external border of the Schengen area, the deportation of refugees to the first EU country they entered, and a speedy start of the operation of reception centres for refugees in Greece and Italy.
Fico dismissed the opinions of some Western politicians who criticised the East European countries for not providing enough assistance to the refugees.
French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabious said on Sunday that it is outrageous that some European countries rejected the refugee quotas.
Slovakia fears that people smugglers will attempt to transport a rising number of refugees to the EU across the Slovak territory due to the tightened checks focused on smuggling of migrants in the neighbouring Austria, which have been introduced after an abandoned truck full of dead refugees was found on an Austrian motorway.
The whole Europe is facing a strong wave of refugees from the Middle East and North Africa these months.
Slovak Interior Minister Robert Kalinak said 54 migrants were detained in Slovakia last week. According to Slovak media, further 26 refugees were detained in the country yesterday.
Slovak police spokesman Martin Waeldl said the refugees came from Syria and Iraq and most of them were transported to hospital due to dehydration. The two suspected people smugglers were from Serbia, he said.
The Slovak police have also been checking the passengers of international trains running from Hungary to Germany, which some refugees use.
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