Prague, Sept 2 (CTK) – It is a good thing, Czech Prime Minister Andrej Babis (ANO) told the Prima television station today about German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas’s statement that EU countries should not be forced to accept refugees.
This is a positive shift, he added.
“This positive, very positive,” Babis reacted to the question of what was his position on Maas’s statement.
Babis said the view was shared by some other German and European politicians, citing German Interior Minister Horst Seehofer.
He said he felt support by Bundestag chairman Wolfgang Schauble (CDU/CSU) whom he would meet during his Wednesday trip to Berlin, too.
Babis said the Czech Republic was for solidarity, but it refused to accept illegal refugees.
Babis is to meet German Chancellor Angela Merkel on Wednesday.
Maas’s statement was also welcomed by the Social Democrat leader, acting foreign minister Jan Hamacek.
“Our diplomacy has always insisted on the solution that help should be provided to the countries from which the migrants are coming and on a better protection of borders. This is why the present-day illegal migration is on the level before the outbreak of the migrant crisis,” Hamacek has tweeted.
Maas told the German paper Bild today that the EU should not allow migration to be divisive. Individual EU countries should not be forced to accept refugees on the basis of the majority, not unanimous vote in the EU, he added.
The countries which do not want to accept refugees should help differently, such as by providing aid in Africa, Maas said.
“The Czech Republic provides solidarity aid. Since 2015, it has sent 2.1 billion crowns there, apart from the money for Turkey,” Babis said.
Babis is supposed to discuss migration, the EU budget, the Brexit and EU elections in Berlin.
President Milos Zeman is about to visit Germany in the second half of September.