Czech Republic Joins Poland, Hungary and Slovakia in Refusing EU-Imposed Migrants
The Czech Republic has joined its Central European neighbors in officially announcing a withdrawal from the European Union’s 2015 migrant resettlement program.
After much criticism of the scheme, which seeks to resettle an initial 160,000 migrants from Italy and Greece across EU member states, the Czechs have finally withdrawn citing concerns over security and the ‘’dysfunctionality’’ of what has been criticized as a shambolic program.
Prague had accepted only 12 of the 1,600 migrants required by Brussels before leaving the program, which imposes quotas on all 28 member states under threat of sanction.
The resettlement scheme was the EU’s initial response to the near Biblical wave of migrants which arrived in autumn 2015 following Angela Merkel’s decision to open Germany’s borders.
In April, Czech Interior Minister, Milan Chovanec, had stated that his government would have to decide whether resistance to the EU’s quotas was worth the massive fines such a refusal would incur. On Monday, Chovanec announced their decision, a definitive withdrawal based on concerns over terrorism and the vetting of migrants, mainly Muslims from the Middle East.
The decision was supported by a majority of parties across the political spectrum, with even left-wing parties, including the Communist Party, welcoming the announcement.
Public opinion in the Czech Republic, and surrounding countries, runs very strongly against immigration, particularly from Islamic countries.