Quotas imposed by the EU are to be dropped according to the holder of the EU’s current rotating presidency, in an ultimate slap down of Jean-Claude Juncker’s policy on migration.
President Robert Fico, who is also currently Slovakian Prime Minister vowed to fight the wave of illegal immigration into Europe and said the idea that Brussels could force countries to take in a certain number of migrants is “politically finished”, dealing a hammer blow to the EU’s basis principle of free movement.
His comments put him at loggerheads with German Chancellor Angela Merkel, who said it was “unacceptable” for countries to reject the plans, and with Jean-Claude Juncker, President of the European Commission, who has maintained quotas would increase European solidarity.
Mr Fico said: “Quotas today clearly divide the EU, therefore I think they are politically finished.”
His remarks come as Hungarians prepare to go to the polls in a referendum over the mandatory quotas on Sunday, with two thirds of voters set to rejects the EU’s plans to relocate more than 1,000 refugees to the country. Hungary’s Prime Minister, Viktor Orban, said the enforced quotas would “crack” the EU even further in the wake of Brexit.
Several eastern European countries have fought the policy adopted last year that would force all EU countries to take in some of the hundreds of thousands of people seeking asylum in the bloc.
Slovakia and Hungary have both challenged the quotas at the European Court of Justice, Express.co.uk reports.