Prime Minister Andrej Babiš says the Czech Republic doesn’t want a new president of the European Commission that would bring back migrant quotas. As he left for a summit in Brussels, he also said he would not now be discussing a Commission audit finding him in conflict of interest with its outgoing chief.
Nowhere in the entire European Union was a person fleeing their homeland less likely to be granted safe harbour last year than in the Czech Republic. Fresh data from Eurostat show that in 2018 the Czech Ministry of Interior granted international protection to only 1 in 10 applicants – while not a single refugee was resettled here.
Last year the Czech Ministry of the Interior granted asylum to one in 10
applicants, iRozhlas.cz reported on Tuesday, citing data from Eurostat. The
chance of asylum being granted in this country is three times lower than
the EU average, the news site said.
The total number of people who received asylum or additional protection from the Czech authorities in 2018 was 155, equivalent to 15 per million inhabitants.
A spokesperson for the Ministry of the Interior said the Czech authorities received fewer applications from citizens of Syria, Afghanistan and Iraq – who are considered most in danger – than states such as Germany and Greece.
The Czech Republic has a higher percentage of asylum seekers from countries like Ukraine, Georgia, Cuba and Armenia.
A total of 1,350 people applied for asylum in the Czech Republic last year,
according to figures released by the European Union’s statistics office
Ukrainians traditionally made the most asylum requests, followed by Cubans and Georgians.
The overall number of people seeking asylum in the European Union dropped by 11 percent year-on-year to 580,000. Most of the asylum seekers came from Syria, Afghanistan and Iraq.
The Czech society has traditionally been quite homogenous. Of course, there have always been regional differences in dialect, culture, folk music. But people understand each other no matter which part of the country they come from, consider themselves to be of one nationality. And that has started changing.
Prime Minister Andrej Babiš says he will suggest to government that the Czech Republic doesn’t sign the UN’s Global Compact for Migration, citing ambiguities in its interpretation. The decision mirrors those concluded by the Czech Republic’s central European neighbours Austria and Hungary who have already announced they will not sign the agreement.
Immigration police have started deportation proceedings against 57
foreigners following raids at dormitories, construction sites and companies
in Mladá Boleslav and other locations in central Bohemia.
Most are from Ukraine or Moldova. Many had long-term visas issued in Poland allowing them to travel in the European Union, but not to work. None had a valid Czech work or residence permit, the police said.
According to the Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs, illegal employment has been on the rise since 2016. That year for the first time authorities caught more foreigners than Czechs working illegally.
As Czech Prime Minister Andrej Babiš defended his government’s decision not to accept even a single migrant at the EU summit in Salzburg, trouble was brewing for him at home. A proposal for the Czech Republic to take in 50 Syrian orphans, has gained increasing support, and the prime minister is being showered with requests to break from his policy and make a humanitarian gesture.