Poland: Eastern Europe remains firm on anti-migrant stance

Joachim Brudzinski said Poland, Hungary, Slovakia and Czech Republic are united against mass influx of migrants.

    Polish Minister of Internal Affairs Joachim Brudzinski says the Visegrad Group are against the 'uncontrollable' mass migration movement into Europe[ File: Kacper Pempel/Reuters]
    Polish Minister of Internal Affairs Joachim Brudzinski says the Visegrad Group are against the 'uncontrollable' mass migration movement into Europe[ File: Kacper Pempel/Reuters]

    Poland's interior minister said on Tuesday that his country and three others from Eastern Europe were right in their stance of opposing mass migration into Europe.

    Interior Minister Joachim Brudzinski said that "we have to declare unequivocally that in this debate, the Visegrad Group was right", referring also to Hungary, Slovakia and the Czech Republic.

    Speaking after a meeting in Budapest, Brudzinski said that the four countries were united "against the uncontrolled influx of migrants".

    Hungarian Interior Minister Sandor Pinter, who hosted the meeting, said the Visegrad Group was helping Balkan countries like Serbia, Macedonia, Albania and Bosnia-Herzegovina to oppose migration and tackle human trafficking.

    Earlier this week, the leaders of Germany, France and about a dozen other European Union (EU) nations converged on Brussels for an afternoon of informal talks on differences over migration ahead of a full EU summit.

    The Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland and Slovakia refused to attend and reject taking in migrants in general.

    EU deadlock on mass migration 

    The upcoming EU summit on migration policy will take place on June 28 and 29.

    Yet German Chancellor Angela Merkel said she was not optimistic about the prospects of finding consensus among all EU members.

    "We know that no solution will be reached on Thursday and Friday at the level of the 28 member states … on the overall issue of migration," she said on Sunday during a visit to Beirut.

    Merkel, who is scrambling to prevent a mutiny in her government over migration, admitted there were still "some differences" but also "a great deal of common ground" suggesting "bilateral or trilateral agreements for mutual benefit" instead.

    The EU member states have been stricken with a long-standing deadlock over who should take in refugees who land in Italy and other European countries.

    Hundreds of people fleeing conflict and persecution at home are caught in the midst of a worsening row over how to deal with the influx against a backdrop of mass drownings in the Mediterranean in recent years.

    Italy, a country on the front line of the crisis, has turned away rescue vessels, with its new populist government demanding greater solidarity from reluctant fellow EU states.

    The United Nations' refugee agency has said it expects about 80,000 people to arrive by sea this year, which is about half the number from 2017. In 2015, more than one million migrants arrived in Europe.

    SOURCE: Al Jazeera and news agencies


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