Prague, Aug 1 (CTK) – Migration problems will be the hottest issue in the elections to the European Parliament in May 2019 and they will motivate a silent majority of anti-immigration Europeans to cast their voters, Czech PM Andrej Babis told in an interview that the Reuters news agency released today.
“In my view, there will be a substantial shift after the European elections. There is a silent majority which will vote in an anti-migration way,” he said.
Babis said the problems of the Schengen system without borders were more urgent than those of the euro zone.
“Everybody is speaking about the euro zone, which is really funny. We should speak about Schengen,” he said.
The issue will also affect the European Commission, Babis said.
He said the Schengen zone needed to include all EU countries on the continent including Croatia, Bulgaria and Romania.
Babis added that he favours the principal of free movement but wants a strong border around Europe.
Reuters writes that Babis won the Czech general election last October with promises to stand up to Brussels and to fight illegal migration. The rise of his centrist ANO movement has come at the expense of traditional parties, it writes.
The Visegrad Four (V4) group, including the Czech Republic, has opposed the quota system to re-distribute asylum seekers prescribed by Brussels. The idea was officially dropped at an EU summit in June.
Babis repeatedly said his country will not accept any migrants as the Czechs were helping with manpower and money, including 80 million euros since 2015 to support migrant centres outside of the EU.
Babis’s minority government comprised of ANO and the Social Democrats (CSSD) won a confidence vote in parliament thanks to support from the Communists (KSCM).
He rejected criticism over giving the Communists a say in government again.
Babis told Reuters that the Czech media exaggerated the issue with their “fake news”. He said no foreign partners have raised the issue with him.
He said the anti-NATO, pro-Russian Communists will not influence his government “because I am not afraid of early elections” if they decided to let his government fall.
Babis said ideas for deeper euro zone integration such as a common budget would further divide the bloc, which needs to reform itself and get ready for Britain’s eventual departure.
He said there was still a need for the EU to agree on migration policy.