Czech presidential candidates reserved about migrant quotas
Prague, Dec 8 (CTK) – Most Czech presidential candidates are reserved or dismissive regarding the EU migrant quotas or the mandatory redistribution system for asylum seekers and some of them link migration with the spreading of extremist Islamist ideas, the candidates have responded to a CTK’s survey.
Czech President Milos Zeman, who seeks re-election in the January election, did not answer the poll questions.
Another candidate, businessman and lyricist Michal Horacek, wants migrants to be verified before asylum is granted to them and says it has been a good practice of the country in recent years to select the refugees to be accepted and also to check them with the aid of the counter-intelligence service (BIS).
Former Academy of Sciences head Jiri Drahos says he is opposed to the system of mandatory quotas since it is a politically unsuitable and also impractical solution. He believes that asylum requests should be dealt with by the first safe country that refugees reach. He is opposed to hosting economic migrants, especially from “culturally distant countries”.
Former ambassador to France Pavel Fischer is reserved about the admission of migrants. He believes the state has to provide safety for its own citizens and not to allow “a disintegration of solidarity and of the sense of belonging together”. This requires a long-term protection of the border and a close coordination within the EU, including the expelling of illegal migrants and the strengthening of humanitarian and developmental aid in the conflict-struck regions.
Former PM Mirek Topolanek says he is “absolutely against uncontrolled migration”. He says the Czech Republic as a signatory of the Geneva Conventions is obliged to accept political refugees, not migrants. He believes migration would become a problem, just like in other European countries, due to two colliding and alien cultures. He says he can see Islam not only as a religion but also as a political ideology.
Former Skoda Auto company board chairman Vratislav Kulhanek says the current (Czech) strategy is all right and that it is prepared to deal with the developments in the near future, which might be difficult to anticipate though.
Physician and activist Marek Hilser says that, after the last EU summit, it is clear that the refugee quotas are a thing of the past because the EU agreed that any redistribution of migrants would happen only based on a unanimous consent. He says he welcomes the EU decision to prevent migration from Libya to Italy across the Mediterranean Sea and that he would push for the Czech government to take a share in those projects.
Jiri Hynek, head of the Czech Defence and Security Industry Association, says illegal migration is unacceptable. Likewise, it is not acceptable that the decision on whom to admit would be made by somebody else than the country itself.
Although Zeman did not participate in the survey, he previously said the quotas were an interference with the Czech Republic’s internal matters. He reiterated that refugees should be helped in the area of their origin.
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