Friday, 24 May 2019

ČR, Slovakia not to take migrants from EU this year

ČTK |
10 November 2015

Brussels, Nov 9 (CTK correspondent) - Neither the Czech Republic nor Slovakia count with accepting refugees within their relocation among the EU member states this year, the Czech and Slovak interior ministers, Milan Chovanec and Robert Kalinak, said upon their arrival in Brussels yesterday.
They pointed out before an extraordinary meeting of the EU countries´ interior ministers on migration issues that the system of hotspots, that is the migrants´ registration and identification, had not started working yet.
However, according to the draft conclusions for yesterday´s meeting, the countries should announce their capacities for accepting refugees in a week, that is on November 16. The document also says the establishment of hotspots must be more supported so that the system could start working by the end of November.
"The system is not functioning at present," Chovanec told reporters referring to Czechs´ reports from Greece and Italy.
It is not possible to transfer the migrants elsewhere since they have not been registered in Greece yet, he added.
Only a few dozen people have been relocated within the system so far, while thousands of people are flowing to the EU a day.
The EU should also negotiate with the government in Kabul about the readmission of Afghan migrants to safer parts of this country, Chovanec told reporters.
He noted that Germany would like to solve the readmission policy issues with the Afghan government very soon.
During the EU ministers´ talks, Chovanec told reporters that the criticism of not functioning hotspots and the approach of Greece and Italy had been voiced by a crushing majority of the member states at the meeting.
The hotspots would have to have the capacity of some 100.000 people whose freedom could be restricted during the registration to be really functioning, Chovanec said.
Kalinak said the prepared draft conclusions of the EU interior ministers´ meeting had surprised him as they did not reflect the real situation. Those who have prepared the document "have not met with reality," he added.
He is also of the view that hotspots are not working yet.
"The hotspot on Lesbos island is able to process ten migrants a day," Kalinak said.
The Czech Republic has announced that it could admit about 35 percent or some 900 people of the total number of refugees it should take within the quotas system in two years, Chovanec said.
By 2017, the Czech Republic should accept and decide on asylum applications of 2691 Syrians, Iraqis and Eritreans.
"However, it will depend on whether the system of hotspots will be successfully kicked off ands whether it will be working," Chovanec said.
He added that the Czech Republic can also reject particular persons for security reasons.
The draft conclusions have already admitted the possibility to restrict the migrants´ personal freedom until they are registered as "a last resort" to secure their cooperation in the effort to register them, Chovanec pointed out.
At present, migrants are to be relocated only from Greece and Italy. The programme is to apply to some 160,000 people in two years.
hol/mr/rtj

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