03:35 GMT03 March 2021
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    Major Migrant Crisis in Europe (1819)
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    To effectively solve the ongoing migrant crisis, EU leaders need to provide more support to the countries that have received the most refugees and make sure the borders of the Schengen Zone are protected, Czech Interior Minister Milan Chovanec said, according to Czech News Agency (CTK).

    Chovanec spoke with the media prior to a Visegrad Group meeting in Prague, which is scheduled to take place on January 19.

    "Quotas are meaningless, and I think everyone knows it," the Interior Minister told CTK.

    The minister added that the European Union (EU) needs to make sure that the borders of the Schengen Zone are "impenetrable."

    Chovanec also criticized the prolonged construction of special migrant centers, which the EU said it would build to accommodate refugees. The centers aren't ready yet and the Czech minister fears that given the current rate of work, the center won't be ready to function by the spring either.

    Furthermore, the minister of interior added that Czech policemen would continue to patrol the border between the Czech Republic and Austria. Over the past seven months, police have arrested 3,300 refugees illegally trying to cross into the territory of Czech Republic.

    Earlier this month, Former Czech President Vaclav Klaus said that the mandatory quota system on redistributing refugees proposed by the European Commission wouldn't solve the migrant crisis.

    Last September, the EU interior ministers approved a plan proposed by the European Commission to redistribute some refugees throughout the bloc based on a quota system. The quotas were strongly opposed by several EU states, including the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Romania and Hungary.

    Klaus predicted that Europe would soon face a "real migration tsunami" if EU politicians continue to act the same way they're doing now. According to Klaus, the migration wave cannot be stopped in the center of Europe, so it should be tackled on the EU's external borders.

    Others, such as the Czech Organization for Aid to Refugees (OPU) think that Czech politicians are simply "playing the card of xenophobia" amid the refugee crisis, choosing not to explain the entire situation concerning refugees to the general public.

    According to OPU, politicians do not properly explain who the refugees are and why they arrive from Syria. Meanwhile, the group claims, the media aids them by giving too much space for their xenophobic comments.

    This year has seen an unprecedented wave of migration to Europe, with over one million migrants arriving on European shores, according to International Organization for Migration data. Over 1.2 million illegal border crossings have been detected by the EU border agency Frontex since the beginning of 2015.

    Topic:
    Major Migrant Crisis in Europe (1819)

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    Tags:
    Schengen area, migrant quota, refugees, Milan Chovanec, Czech Republic
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