"Simply put, the Balkans is not yet integrated, and memories of the wars there are very much alive. If Turkey is unable to control the pressure of migration, in cooperation with Greece, the solution is to reach agreement with Bulgaria, Macedonia and Albania, to provide them with maximum help and start to regulate migration on their borders," said Sobotka.
He then stated that the EU would in this way put additional pressure on Greece to work more closely with Turkey in overcoming the influx of refugees.
The so-called Plan B - that would see the EU put up "a dam" in front of "the refugee wave" on the southern borders of Macedonia and Bulgaria - will be discussed at the extraordinary summit of the Visegrad Group prime ministers in Prague on February 15. The members of this group of central and eastern European countries wish to present the plan to the EU.
"Preserving Schengen is not only in the interest of the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Poland, but also countries such as Germany, France, the Netherlands. None of these countries announced they want to introduce some measures that would mean the breaking up of the Schengen area. A number of countries, including us, is strengthening patrols at the borders, but no one is planning to break up Schengen," said the Czech prime minister.
The closing of German borders would, according to him, mean an immediate danger of the Czech Republic becoming a transit country:
"The border would be immediately shut down by Austria. Since Hungary has a fence on its border, and Slovakia is ready to take very strict security measures, it is likely that the migration flow would be diverted. It would be partly halted, and party the borders of some Balkan states would be closed."
Sobotka again criticized Czech President Milos Zeman for "meaninglessly and without any need spreading panic and fear of refugees and Muslims among the Czech citizens and causing division in society." According to Sobotka, he is in this way "preparing ground for himself to be elected for another term."
He said Zeman's gesture that caused the deepest divisions was his participation "in a rally of extremists against Islam and refugees held on the anniversary of the Velvet Revolution on November 17," when Zeman marched along with Block Against Islam leader Martin Konvicka, "who called on the Czechs to turn refugees into bone meal."