Prague, Sept 20 (CTK) – Roughly one-half of Czech senators across the political spectrum signed a joint memorandum calling on PM Andrej Babis (ANO) and his cabinet to make possible the acceptance of 50 Syrian orphans recently proposed by the Christian Democrats (KDU-CSL), Czech Televison (CT) has said.
“We are asking you and the government of the Czech Republic for a quick aid to these orphaned children living in overpopulated Greek refugee camps. Please undertake such measures quickly so that the Czech Republic may become one of the countries that can effectively and without delay help in utmost emergency,” says the statement that is available to CTK.
The appeal has been signed by 36 out of the total 79 senators. Senate chairman Milan Stech (Social Democrats, CSSD) and deputy chairwoman Miluse Horska (for KDU-CSL) are among its signatories.
The joint statement has been signed by representatives of all senator groups, except those for Babis’s ANO.
Babis said the appeal to accept the children was an absurd and invented affair, adding that the Czech Republic had its own problems with the children who lacked foster care.
Babis said the senators’ appeal was just a continuation of the absurd affair of abusing children for a political fight.
“Thanks to the pseudo-scandal, I have found out that we have 2,500 children needing foster care and looking for parents in the Czech Republic,” Babis said.
He said experts agreed that the Syrian children should return to their native country.
In an accompanying letter, the senators said that they considered it “natural that the criteria for the childrens’ acceptance would be set so as to identify true orphans, especially small children, which are most vulnerable in hard life circumstances.”
The period and terms under which Czech foster care families would look after the children would be defined in line with Czech law, it says.
MEP Michaela Sojdrova’s (KDU-CSL) initiative to bring 50 orphaned children from Greece’s refugee camps has seen a strong public and political response. MPs debated the issue on Wednesday. Babis said previously that the children should be helped there where they were born and lived and said that the orphans in question were boys between 12 and 17, not small children.
Sojdrova is to meet Babis on Friday and has said that the senators’ initiative representatives and those of the Czechs Are Helping initiative are to participate.
She wants to address the prime minister with a specific proposal. One of the main points of the plan is that the programme would be realised based on bilateral cooperation of the country with Greece. The Czech Interior Ministry would be in charge of the childrens’ selection process.