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November 15, 2015

PM disappointed at Juncker’s words about migration

Sobotka wants more emphasis on security in dealing with refugee crisis

Prague, Nov 15 ČTK  The Czech Republic must help people in need, but at the same time it must think of its own security, Prime Minister Bohuslav Sobotka said on Czech Television ČT today and added that he was disappointed at Jean-Claude Juncker’s words about an unchanged attitude to migration.

Juncker, president of the European Commission, said today EU countries should not start rejecting migrants in reaction to the terrorist attacks in Paris on Friday.

He said there is no reason for the EU countries to change their attitude to solving the migrant crisis.

Juncker also said the perpetrators of the attacks were not asylum applicants but criminals.

Sobotka said in the Questions of Václav Moravec on ČT, however, that Europe has not yet been sufficiently capable of placing emphasis on security in dealing with the migrant crisis.

He said as long as security along the outer Schengen border is not restored, individual member countries will have to ensure it along their own borders by themselves.

Sobotka said he considers Juncker’s reaction to the developments insufficient and added that it is necessary to enhance pressure for the protection of the outer Schengen border.

Věra Jourová of the Czech Republic, EU commissioner for justice, dismissed Sobotka’s criticism of Juncker.

She said Juncker clearly comprehends that it is necessary to take resolute steps to radically improve the controls along the outer border of Schengen, to reduce the migrant wave and to bring the EU to focus on aid to countries, such as Jordan, Lebanon and Turkey where there are several million refugees.

She said the radicalization of further groups of people in these countries must be prevented.

Sobotka said he believes that a solution to the issues of the current migration and Islamic State rests in a quick agreement with Turkey that could control the migrant flows.

He said it is also necessary to complete the great powers’ negotiations with Syria aimed to resolving the conflict in the country.

Sobotka said the attacks in Paris will put a much stronger pressure on Russia and the United States in the effort to find a a solution to the conflict.

He said Russia’s involvement in it has made the United States seek a solution to the Syrian crisis.

Sobotka said the protection of the outer border of Schengen must be improved through the creation of a joint European border and coast guards and the stepping up of the struggle against IS.

He said he does not consider it necessary for the Czech Republic to have a special anti-terrorist law. However, the creation of a central register of bank accounts to be supervised by the Czech Central Bank is being prepared.

Social Democrat ČSSD senator Hassan Mezian, who comes from Syria and who has lived in the Czech Republic since the 1960s, told CTK that the situation must be solved right in Syria, both diplomatically and militarily.

“The war has continued for five years there, and it is there that the current crisis which also Europe fully feels, had its major beginnings,” he said.

He said Islamic State is a criminal organization and called for its destruction.

Senate deputy chairman Přemysl Sobotka (opposition Civic Democrats, ODS) said on ČT he wants to ask Senate chairman Milan Štěch ČSSD to convoke a meeting to muster support for pushing through legislation reacting to the migrant crisis and terrorism.

He said all democratic parties in the country should be “rowing in the same direction” where the protection of Czech citizens is concerned.

Sobotka said the Czech Republic will continue supporting the Iraqi government and Kurds.

He said he has asked Defense Minister Martin Stropnický (ANO) to present further ways of helping Kurds and Jordan.

The Czech Republic supplied ammunition to Iraq and Kurds in the past, now it wants to send them small arms.

On commercial television station Prima, Miroslav Lidinský, chairman of the marginal opposition party Dawn–National Coalition, pointed today to a recent statement by IS that 5,000 to 7,000 of its fighters have been spread in Europe.

Jourová said French politicians said in mid-October the inhabitants of France are radicalised and that a growing number of young people are leaving for Syria.

“According to the rough estimates we have, there may be some 6,000 of these people from Europe,” Jourova said.

She said 2,000 people from France alone have left for Syria.

Political scientist Petr Robejšek said the opinion has been silently established that all people fleeing from war are automatically entitled to political asylum.

“If we practice this, we will not speak about 20 or 30 million potential migrants, but about hundreds of millions because civil wars and poverty are spread in many areas of the world,” Robejšek said.

The Islamic Foundation in Prague said on its web page that freedom and democracy must be not destroyed by any radicals, whether Islamic or extreme right ones.

“Muslims perceive the Czech Republic as their homeland and they feel to be its parts. A big part of Muslims have lived here for decades, they have founded their families here and they are bringing up their children in the spirit of European values. That is why we hope that anti-Islamic and xenophobic moods will not be mounting in the Czech Republic,” the foundation wrote.

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