Slovak Prime Minister Robert Fico said so before the MEPs from the Progressive Alliance of Socialists and Democrats (S&D) and chairman of the Party of European Socialists (PES) Sergei Stanishev in Strasbourg on October 5.
“I told them that it’s the right of member countries [to file a suit], and it would be strange to criticise a country if it uses this legal tool,” Fico said, as quoted by the TASR newswire. “I announced that we have eight weeks to do it ... and that I can’t change anything on this attitude, as we don’t see any shift that would move us to think differently.”
The Slovak PM added that in Strasbourg he did not retreat “even a single centimetre” from his statements made previously in Slovakia, as reported by TASR.
The MEPs are not entitled to decide on his party Smer’s membership in PES, as it is a matter of Smer itself, according to Fico. Stanishev allegedly appreciated that Fico initiated the debate on his own initiative.
The migration crisis should not only be looked at ideologically, because there is a threat that standard political parties will appear in opposition, while “madmen and half madmen” from extremist parties will be those who will be really dealing with migrants, Fico added.
Meanwhile, Slovakia is ready to offer several solutions to the crisis, including the creation of safety zones in Syria, contribute financially (€21 million) towards the Frontex operation aimed at protecting the outer Schengen border and at distinguishing real refugees from economic migrants.
Fico added that he was disappointed to be reproached by some MEPs for statements that he has never uttered.
Chairman of S&D Gianni Pittella described Fico’s appearance as a good start of a dialogue that must continue.
Fico stressed several times that he has never made certain statements as reported by some media indicating that he wanted to discriminate against Muslim immigrants, Pittela continued.
“I appreciated the fact that he still hasn’t announced it as a matter of fact that the lawsuit [against the mandatory immigration quotas] with the European Court of Justice has become reality,” Pittella said, as quoted by TASR.
Nevertheless, if this happened, it would be a “bad thing”, as it would be at odds both with the opinion of European Socialists and the decision of the EU’s interior ministers made by a qualified majority, Pittella added.
It really does not depend on PES to suspend Smer’s membership of the European party, but on Smer itself, according to Pittella.
6. Oct 2015 at 1:39 | Compiled by Spectator staff