Send migrants home, says Czech PM Andrej Babis

Migrants entering the European Union should be stopped and turned back to their home countries, Czech Prime Minister Andrej Babis said on Thursday in Brussels ahead of negotiations surrounding a new EU migration plan next week, Reuters reports.

A meeting of the EU Council to discuss a new migration plan, the ongoing situation in Belarus, and coronavirus, was postponed from Thursday until next week because European Council President Charles Michel, who normally chairs such gatherings, was quarantined.

“We have to change the system of grants and the quota system, it’s unacceptable for us. That’s why we should keep negotiating... the strategy should look like this - the people coming from these countries, they should be stopped and turned back to their countries and be given help there,” Babis said during a press conference.

The Czech PM said that Europe should focus on strengthening border protection, rather than forcing those states refusing to accept migrants to pay for the repatriation of rejected asylum seekers. “This is essentially nonsense because if we don’t accept migrants we can’t return them.”

His statement comes after Babis, Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban, Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki and European Commission chief Ursula von der Leyen met in Brussels ahead of the EU summit next week to discuss the Visegrad Four grouping’s stance on the issues up for discussion.

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