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Czech Republic should refuse to accept refugees under EU quotas — minister

Refugees must not be allowed into the country even under the threat of European penalties, the interior minister said

PRAGUE, April 16. /TASS/. The Czech Republic should no longer accept its share of refugees under quotas agreed by the European Union, even under the threat of financial penalties, the country’s interior minister Milan Chovanec has said in an interview with the Pravo newspaper.

"We have accepted 12 refugees out of approximately 1,600 (according to EU quotas)," the minister said. "The ongoing checks (into whether they pose any threat to national security) of the rest (of the migrants) revealed that none of them should be accepted."

According to Chovanec, the EU may start discussing a possible penalty over the move this fall, but refugees must not be allowed into the country even under the threat of sanctions.

"People without due control must not be allowed here," the minister said, adding that he will promote this stance among other members of the republic’s government.

In a bid to deal with the ongoing inflow of migrants, who illegally arrived into Italy and Greece across the Mediterranean Sea, the European Commission suggested in 2015 establishing the minimal number of migrants that each of the union’s 28 member states should accommodate. Currently, only several thousand of the estimated 160,000 refugees have been accommodated, because many states de-facto refuse to accept them. Hungary, Poland, Czech Republic and Slovakia are among the quota plan’s staunchest opponents.