Daily Archives: June 5, 2018

Czech Leader Opposes Merkel’s Idea of EU Immigration ‘Flexibility’

The Czech Republic opposed on Monday German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s idea of a flexible European Union approach to migration and an independent border police, saying protecting frontiers should be up to individual member states.

Prague, along with other central European governments, has rejected a quota system drawn up by the European Commission to redistribute asylum seekers around the bloc.

With an EU summit due to tackle the dispute this month, Merkel called at the weekend for a flexible system in which countries that refuse to take in refugees could compensate by making contributions in other areas. She also said the European border police force Frontex should be allowed to operate independently.

Czech Prime Minister Andrej Babis rebuffed this approach. “The idea that Frontex will guard everything by itself is not realistic in the long term,” he told reporters when asked about Merkel’s comments. “Individual states must guard that.”

Babis said later on Twitter he was not against common border controls but the EU should use the potential of member states first. “We support all EU initiatives to fight against illegal migration,” he said.

Migration has divided the EU’s 28 member states since more than one million migrants, many of them Muslims, arrived in 2015 largely from the Middle East and Africa. The Czech Republic – along with Hungary, Slovakia and Poland which together form the Visegrad Group – has taken a hard line on the issue and refused to accept more than tiny numbers of migrants.

EU leaders will again discuss migration at the end of this month. Merkel said over the weekend she was not sure that any deal to break the impasse over burden-sharing could be reached by then.

Unlike Western EU states, the Visegrad countries have little experience of immigration historically and some have expressed fears for their Christian culture from any sizeable intake of migrants.

Babis questioned how countries could compensate for refusing to take in migrants and said on Twitter his country was “ready to continue with financial solidarity, but not as sanctions for not accepting quotas.”

He also said elections this weekend in Slovenia, won by an anti-immigration opposition party, and the formation of an anti-establishment government in Italy showed how the policy stance of the Visegrad Group had spread.

“This opinion on migration will prevail in the whole of Europe, and we have to stop migration outside the European continent and help the people in Africa and Syria,” he said.

Source: Voice of America

Czech Leader Opposes Merkel’s Idea of EU Immigration ‘Flexibility’

The Czech Republic opposed on Monday German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s idea of a flexible European Union approach to migration and an independent border police, saying protecting frontiers should be up to individual member states.

Prague, along with other central European governments, has rejected a quota system drawn up by the European Commission to redistribute asylum seekers around the bloc.

With an EU summit due to tackle the dispute this month, Merkel called at the weekend for a flexible system in which countries that refuse to take in refugees could compensate by making contributions in other areas. She also said the European border police force Frontex should be allowed to operate independently.

Czech Prime Minister Andrej Babis rebuffed this approach. “The idea that Frontex will guard everything by itself is not realistic in the long term,” he told reporters when asked about Merkel’s comments. “Individual states must guard that.”

Babis said later on Twitter he was not against common border controls but the EU should use the potential of member states first. “We support all EU initiatives to fight against illegal migration,” he said.

Migration has divided the EU’s 28 member states since more than one million migrants, many of them Muslims, arrived in 2015 largely from the Middle East and Africa. The Czech Republic – along with Hungary, Slovakia and Poland which together form the Visegrad Group – has taken a hard line on the issue and refused to accept more than tiny numbers of migrants.

EU leaders will again discuss migration at the end of this month. Merkel said over the weekend she was not sure that any deal to break the impasse over burden-sharing could be reached by then.

Unlike Western EU states, the Visegrad countries have little experience of immigration historically and some have expressed fears for their Christian culture from any sizeable intake of migrants.

Babis questioned how countries could compensate for refusing to take in migrants and said on Twitter his country was “ready to continue with financial solidarity, but not as sanctions for not accepting quotas.”

He also said elections this weekend in Slovenia, won by an anti-immigration opposition party, and the formation of an anti-establishment government in Italy showed how the policy stance of the Visegrad Group had spread.

“This opinion on migration will prevail in the whole of Europe, and we have to stop migration outside the European continent and help the people in Africa and Syria,” he said.

Source: Voice of America

AFRICAN TRADE INSURANCE REPORTS 55 PCT RISE IN 2017 PROFIT

NAIROBI– The African Trade Insurance aGENCY, a multilateral organization majority owned by African governments, has reported a 55 per cent increase in 2017 full-year profits to 990 million Kenya shillings (about 9.8 million US dollars), driven by steady business expansion.

The Nairobi-headquartered agency is targeting to offer cover for large and strategic capital projects of at least 35 billion shillings over the next one year, says Chief Executive Officer George Otieno in the 2017 annual report. The move will allow African states to negotiate for better terms when accessing foreign capital for development projects.

Africa is estimated to be in need of at least six trillion shillings annually to bridge infrastructure gaps and a huge percentage of this amount is expected to come from the private sector and loans which have pushed some of the countries to their debt limit.

According to the risk solution provider ATI, the cost of borrowing for capital expenses is still high as debts accrued through bond markets and syndicated loans account for 60 per cent of public debt in Africa.

The insurer is now seeking to help reduce this cost through an alternative to raise foreign currency debt. This targets projects of between 25 to 35 billion shillings.

Supported by expansion into various AfricaN markets, the insurer has seen its gross written premiums surge 52 per cent to 4.48 billion shillings while equity is at 24.2 billion shillings.

The volume of business supported since inception has similarly risen 40 per cent to 3.5 trillion shillings as gross exposure rose 23 per cent to 240 billion shillings.

Source: NAM NEWS NETWORK