Slovak PM calls for EU summit after Cologne violence

8th January 2016, Comments 0 comments

Slovak Prime Minister Robert Fico on Friday called for an extraordinary EU summit following the New Year's Eve spate of sexual attacks in Germany that have been blamed on a crowd of migrants.

"I'm surprised to see the leaders of the opposition continue to trivialise -- even after the attacks in Cologne and other European cities -- the security risks associated with unregulated and uncontrolled migration within the EU," the leftist Fico told reporters in Bratislava.

"I call on the president of the European Council, Donald Tusk, and the president of the European Commission, Jean-Claude Juncker, to look into accelerating the decision on putting in place a European coastguard and border guard corps.

"For that reason it will be necessary to also convene an extraordinary summit."

A European Council source in Brussels said the institution had received no request for such a summit and that Tusk had no plans to convene one.

"The next European Council summit is scheduled for February 18-19," the source added.

Cologne police said they had recorded 121 complaints of assault ranging from groping to two alleged rapes on New Year's Eve.

Victims blamed men of "Arab or North African" appearance, inflaming a heated public debate about Germany's ability to integrate the nearly 1.1 million asylum seekers the country took in last year.

Fico added Friday that "we cannot allow for several thousands of migrants to arrive in Slovakia at the same time, neither on the basis of mandatory quotas, nor on a voluntary basis."

He said the current timeline for putting in place the European coastguard and border guard corps is "untenable" because a decision on its creation is only expected by the end of June.

The corps could be put in place this autumn, he added, but by then "two million people may have already arrived in Europe, because no one is stopping them."


© 2016 AFP

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