Czech PM Sobotka: The Czech Republic must think of its own security
Speaking on Czech Television today in response to Friday's terrorist attacks in Paris, which claimed the lives of as many as 130 people, Czech Prime Minister Bohuslav Sobotka (Czech Social Democratic Party - ČSSD) said the Czech Republic must aid people in need while simultaneously thinking about its own security. He also said he was disappointed by the words of European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker about maintaining the EU's current approach to immigration.
Juncker said today that EU countries should not begin rejecting refugees in response to the Paris attacks. In his view there is no need for the EU-28 to adjust its approach to addressing the migration crisis.
He also emphasized that the perpetrators of the assassinations were not asylum-seekers but criminals. However, according to Sobotka, Europe has not yet been sufficiently capable of emphasizing security while addressing the migration crisis.
The Czech PM indicated that if security is not renewed at the external borders of the Schengen area, the individual Member States will have to arrange for security at their own borders. In that context he noted that he was disappointed by Juncker's workds and said the European Commission President's reaction seemed insufficient.
Sobotka believes there is a need to increase pressure for protection of the Schengen area's external borders. EU Justice Commissioner Věra Jourová has rejected the Czech PM's criticism of Juncker.
Jourová said the European Commission President clearly grasps the necessity of taking far-reaching steps to radically improve controls of the external borders of the Schengen area and reduce the migration wave, and said the EU can concentrate on aiding countries such as Jordan, Lebanon and Turkey, where there are currently several million refugees. "We do not want more groups of people to radicalize there," she said.
Sobotka said he sees the solution to the current difficulties with migration and the so-called Islamic State (IS) as consisting of rapidly reaching agreement with Turkey, which could control the migration flows. The Czech PM also believes it is necessary to complete talks between world powers and Syria that could lead to the end of the conflict there.
He noted that the assassinations in Paris creates much more pressure on Russia and the USA to agree on a solution in Syria. The entry of Russia into that conflict, according to Sobotka, as forced the USA to seek a different solution to the crisis there.
The Czech PM says a necessary step will be better security at the external borders of the Schengen area by creating a common European border and coast guard services and intensification of the fight against IS. Sobotka does not consider it necessary for the Czech Republic to adopt a special anti-terrorist law, but there are preparations underway for the creation of a central registry of bank accounts to be supervised by the Czech National Bank.
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