Visegrad News! Czech Republic. An interview with PM Andrej Babis: Europe must send a clear signal to migrants that it is closed.
“The principle that migrants are at sea and we have to take them is the way to hell. Europe, on the other hand, must send a clear signal that it is closed,” said Prime Minister Andrej Babiš, in an interview with the daily Pravo.
** Published by novinky.cz and translated from Czech to English. For time constraints, we have only translated the part of the interview that pertains to migration. However, our Czech readers may be interested in the entire interview below, including the last half that pertains to internal Czech politics.
? You have been in charge with the CSSD for two months, are you are cooperating with the CSSD and Chairman Jan Hamacek?
It’s about individual ministers. CSSD still has their DNA, is still trying to declare something, but with the chairman he works well with me. It works.
? However, your Cabinet is still incomplete, or Hamáček is at the head of the interior and foreign ministries. Do you think the MEP Poche becomes foreign minister?
I do not think so. I feel with the post of Foreign Minister that the CSSD should suggest another name. But it is Mr Hamáček’s thing. I suppose this will be solved in a maximum of two months.
? Poche said that the Czech Republic could show solidarity with Italy by solving some asylum applications in our country. Those people would then be granted asylum in another country or repatriated. Why do you reject such a thing?
I actively do foreign policy. This is what I campaigned on at the EU summit, together with Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban and the V4: for the quotas to be abolished, which succeeded. There is no one to impose quotas on us, and the Czechs will decide who lives with us. It is the basis.
First of all, we must send a clear signal that Europe is closed and that no one can get to Europe anymore. The message must be: “You must stay home, we will help you there.” And when I said we would not take a single illegal migrant, that’s true.
? Do you not care too much?
I’m not afraid at all. Migration is a big problem and needs to be stopped. Evidence shows troubling developments elsewhere in Europe, just look at how 80 gangs were rampaging in Sweden.
Everything must have some order, a Ukrainian can come to us on the basis of a working visa and is scrutinized. He’s not just sitting on an Aquarius ship without papers, going out in Europe and wanting asylum. We must make it clear that the security of our people is the highest priority for us, just like the US, Canada or Australia .
We can be charitable, but it must not be at the expense of security. I entered politics to fight for Czech interests and our security. It is the most important. There are 1.5 million people in Europe who have not been granted asylum and are just living here.
? Do you want to argue with the Italian Prime Minister Conti, who has asked the Czech Republic for help with the asylum seekers when you visit Italy at the end of the month?
I’m heading for Italy and Malta. The Czech Republic is preparing a comprehensive proposal for addressing the issue of illegal migrants. We want to suggest what we should do in Europe, what we should do outside Europe and some other new concepts. The Czech Republic wants to help financially and materially…a Marshall Plan for Africa must be established.
In the first place, we have to change the rhetoric. We cannot make the impression that when migrants come to Europe, we will divide and distribute them. We need to improve the conditions in the countries where migrants come from for illegal migration to end. And we have to look at how effective money is spent on defending European borders, where huge sums go. Should we rather make similar agreements with Turkey?
When the Spanish government changes the rhetoric and accepts Aquarius, it is a clear signal and the social networks are sending the message that Spain is taking the migrants. As a result, the influx of migrants to Spain is higher than in Italy, and hundreds of migrants in Ceuta are attacking the Spanish border. The principle that migrants are at sea and we have to take them is the way to hell.
Forty thousand people are working for the smuggling business around the world, earning billions of euros. And those heading for Europe are among the more affluent because the poorest people do not have money to pay the mob.
*** The translation was difficult and we apologize if we missed anything. We kindly ask our Czech readers to point out any mistakes in the translation. Thank you.