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Zeman: Refugee quotas go against country's sovereignty

ČTK |
15 June 2017

Milevsko, South Bohemia, June 14 (CTK) - The refugee quotas are a violation of the sovereignty of European Union member countries as each country should decide on its own whom to accept, Czech President Milos Zeman said on Wednesday.

Zeman said he is not going to yield to the pressure that the EU exerted. "We must beware of this, all disasters begin in an inconspicuous way. Once you bow your heads, you will start bowing them again and again," he said.

The EC on Wednesday opened legal cases against the Czech Republic, Hungary and Poland for refusing to take in asylum seekers from Italy and Greece within the quota plan.

Zeman said migrants are not interested in staying in the Czech Republic and they are heading for Germany and other West European countries because they can get higher welfare benefits there.

The Czech Republic pledged to accept 2,600 refugees from the Middle East, but it has resettled only 12 so far.

Zeman said 600 million crowns were earmarked for the resettlement. "This money could have been used for many better purposes," he said.

If the country opened to a higher number of migrants, millions from Africa would start streaming to it. It may happen that people whose culture is not compatible with the Czech and European cultural roots will prevail among the Africans, Zeman said.

On Tuesday, European Commissioner Dimitris Avramopoulos said the EC would launch legal proceedings against the three countries of the former Soviet bloc because they did not meet their pledges. In reaction to the announcement, Czech politicians mostly insisted on the rejection of the quota scheme for the relocation of migrants. They also said most EU countries did not meet the set quotas.

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