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Czech President, legislative heads say EU should beef up border protection, Czech Army should be ready if that fails

14.8.2015 1:08
Czech President Miloš Zeman (PHOTO:  David Sedlecký, Wikimedia Commons)
Czech President Miloš Zeman (PHOTO: David Sedlecký, Wikimedia Commons)

The European Union should beef up the protection of its external borders according to Czech President Miloš Zeman, Czech Senate leader Milan Štěch and Czech Chamber of Deputies leader Jan Hamáček (both Social Democrats). If EU measures do not aid the situation, then the Czech Republic should enhance its own border protection because of the ongoing migration crisis.  

Štěch and Hamáček made their remarks to journalists after meeting together with Zeman. They said deployment of the Czech Army is now being considered.

"We agreed that the only possible long-term solution is to beef up protection of the external borders of the European Union, to enhance the Frontex mission, and at the same time there is also a need to be prepared for those reinforcements not to lead to the desired result and to have adequate domestic measures ready," Czech MP Hamáček said. "We agreed that there is actually a need to concentrate forces on pressuring the European Union to create a unified policy that will be effective and efficient in order to keep these refugees on the African continent and in the Arab world," said Czech Senator Štěch.  

Should that not be possible, Štěch said there would be no choice but to significantly beef up protection of the Czech Republic's borders, perhaps through special Army exercises. Hamáček expressed the conviction that the Czech Republic is dealing well with increased migration for the time being.  

Hamáček said he sees room for improvement, for example, in arranging for health care for refugees, some of whom have diseases Czech health authorities do not have much experience with. In his view it would be worthwhile to support the hospitals located near facilities for migrants. 

ČTK, translated by Gwendolyn Albert
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