Czech PM says can help thousands of migrants; still rejects quotas

 The Czech Republic could accept thousands of refugees, but it maintains its negative stance towards mandatory quotas proposed by the European Commission for distribution of the migrants, Prime Minister Bohuslav Sobotka was quoted as saying.

Prague: The Czech Republic could accept thousands of refugees, but it maintains its negative stance towards mandatory quotas proposed by the European Commission for distribution of the migrants, Prime Minister Bohuslav Sobotka was quoted as saying.

Czechs together with other central European countries reject the quotas proposed by the European Union`s executive that seeks a solution to the influx of migrants that brought to the brink of collapse the borderless inner system of the 28-nation block.

"(The EU) will have a time out over the winter, then a new wave will come," Sobotka said in an interview for the business daily Hospodarske Noviny due to be published on Friday.

"Hundreds of thousands of refugees are on the move. One of the reasons why we reject the quotas is that we don`t want it to end by approving a classic bureaucratic solution and then say `it is alright now`."

The EU is split over how to cope with the influx of people mostly fleeing war and poverty in Syria, Iraq, Afghanistan and Pakistan.

European Council President Donald Tusk summoned EU leaders to an extraordinary summit next Wednesday to discuss migration and a proposed scheme to distribute 120,000 asylum seekers across the bloc.

"We are ready to help several thousand refugees without a problem. But numbers make no sense now," Sobotka said.

"First of all I hope that the summit will focus on the substance, that means on what is happening in Europe`s neighbourhood."

The bloc`s interior ministers failed on Monday to agree on a mandatory quota system designed to spread the burden of this year`s huge influx of migrants, and German Chancellor Angela Merkel, leader of the EU`s most powerful member state, had called for an emergency summit. 

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