13:44 GMT15 May 2021
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    Czech Interior Minister Milan Chovanec rejected on Wednesday Austria’s proposal to punish EU members who refuse to take in refugees with subsidy cuts, calling it divisive.

    PRAGUE (Sputnik) The Czech Republic, alongside Poland, Slovakia and Hungary, has been reluctant to accommodate refugees from Italy and Greece under EU relocation quotas despite calls from Brussels to pull their weight.

    "The Czech Republic has been one of the most active countries in efforts to resolve the migrant crisis both in hotspots [Italy and Greece] and in neighboring countries … We will not let anyone make populist threats to us," Chovanec said in a statement.

    The interior chief stressed the refugee crisis should be solved by actively supporting "frontline" countries. Czech police have been helping Hungary, Slovenia, Serbia and Macedonia control migrant flows through the main Balkan route.

    Eastern European EU members have been the key net recipients of billions of euros in development funds from the EU budget, but contributing significantly less than more well-off Western European nations.

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