13. 06. 2018 13:55
German Chancellor Angela Merkel conceded that Slovakia was right and the mandatory migration resettlement quotas have fallen short of their intended purpose, which satisfies the Smer-SD party, Smer-SD chair Robert Fico claimed at a press conference on Tuesday. Merkel recently softened her stance on the issue in an effort to defuse a standoff with her anti-migration interior minister Horst Seehofer over his calls to turn back selected migrants at the EU border.
According to Fico, this change represents a great success for Slovak diplomacy. "It was during the Slovak Council of the EU Presidency (in 2016) that we came up with the idea of flexible solidarity, which means that every country should be allowed to decide (how to contribute) according to its own capacities," claimed Fico, adding that only some 34,000 out of 160,000 migrants have been resettled thus far. The Smer-SD chair stated that the EU has failed to address the influx of migrants. Because of that, Fico derives satisfaction from the fact that Slovakia stood at the helm of countries opposing the quotas. He believes that it was the murder of a 14-year-old German girl, allegedly committed by an Iraqi asylum seeker, which prompted Merkel's volte-face on the issue. "This serves as evidence that the mandatory quotas don't work and make no sense, causing nothing but a bone of contention within the EU," claimed Fico, adding that it's good that this tension is drawing to an end.
Fico believes that the EU currently faces different problems, such as the US tariffs imposed on European aluminium exports, and as there is a likelihood that more tariffs are to come, Europe needs to stick closer together and apply a coordinated course of action.