'Reserve Border System' Needed between Bulgaria, Macedonia - Czech PM

World » EU | January 20, 2016, Wednesday // 10:33
Bulgaria: 'Reserve Border System' Needed between Bulgaria, Macedonia - Czech PM A file photo of Czech Prime Minister Bohuslav Sobotka speaking at the national convention of Germany`s Social Democratic Party (SPD) in Berlin, Germany, December 10, 2015.

Czech Prime Minister Bohuslav Sobotka has suggested that a "reserve border system" should be set up along the Bulgaria-Macedonia border if Turkey or Greece fail to regulate the influx of migrants into Europe.

Sobotka has told journalists that while Prague is ready to help EU partners willing to cope with the migrant crisis, Greece and Italy "are only rarely capable of saying what concretely can be done for them."

The migrant crisis, however, should be solved through an agreement of the parties involve in Syria - otherwise "about a half of the motivation for the current strong migrant wave would remain in force," local media quote him as saying.

In Sobotka's words, a reserve system would remove the need for Europe to rely on Greece to protect the external borders.

He has also stressed that "it is necessary to strengthen the protection of the external Schengen border, to create as quickly as possible a joint European border and coast guard" and has made clear the "emergency border system" should be seen as a temporary solution until those measures are implemented.

Separately, Hungarian Foreign Minister Peter Szijjarto has also opined that the EU might have to turn to Bulgaria and Macedonia to tackle the migrant crisis and stem the inflow of people into Europe.

Comments from Prague and Budapest come against the backdrop of renewed criticism at Athens, with some Brussels and member states' officials arguing Greece should do more to restrict the influx.

According to latest UN data, the number of migrants who entered the country in the first three weeks of 2016 is 21 times the number for the same period of last year.

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Tags: Czech Republic, Bulgaria, macedonia, turkey, greece, Bohuslav Sobotka, migrant crisis
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