Czech President Milos Zeman says the country should refuse to take in refugees from Muslim countries to ensure they cannot commit “barbaric attacks”, his spokesman said on Tuesday.
Zeman, who holds a largely ceremonial post, is the country’s most vocal opponent of immigration, opposing even the government’s modest plan to take in 80 Syrian refugees this year, a tiny proportion of the millions fleeing the civil war.
Terrorist attacks in France and Germany in recent weeks have proved his point, Zeman’s spokesman, Jiri Ovcacek, told a regular news conference.
“Our country simply cannot afford to risk terrorist attacks like what occurred in France and Germany. By accepting migrants we would create fertile ground for barbaric attacks,” Ovcacek said.
“The president does not agree with any acceptance of migrants in the Czech territory.”
The Czechs and other central Europeans have been the most critical of the European Union’s response to the unprecedented refugee crisis in which over a million people entered the bloc last year.