Czech PM welcomes EU deal with Turkey
After late-night negotiations in Brussels the EU on Tuesday announced it had reached a deal with Turkey on a bold plan to stem the massive influx of refugees into Europe. The Czech Republic, together with the vast majority of EU member states, welcomed the deal as a potential breakthrough in Europe’s deepening migrant crisis.
“We welcome the Turkish proposal because it presents a possible solution. If it works as envisaged it would finally break the people smuggling business that is driving hundreds of thousands of refugees and economic migrants to Europe. It is an interesting proposal that deserves serious consideration.”
“What it means is that we will not be taking in refugees from Italy and Greece, but will take them from Turkey instead. The numbers are still the same, the agreement has not changed anything in this respect.”
The Czech prime minister also welcomed the fact that, no matter how this deal evolves, the EU recognized the need to close the so-called west Balkan’s route used by hundreds of thousands of migrants as a gateway to western Europe, a plan recently discussed in Prague at a summit of the Visegrad Four (Czech Republic, Slovakia, Poland and Hungary).
"Irregular flows of migrants along the Western Balkans route have now come to an end."
Meanwhile, EU leaders likewise pledged massive humanitarian assistance to help Greece cope with a backlog of migrants stranded on its soil. The EU member states are due debate the plan in greater detail at a meeting of the European Council on March 17 – 18.