The Czech government has distanced itself from controversial remarks made by the country’s President Milos Zeman, who suggested that thousands of economic migrants be deported from European states to uninhabited Greek islands.
“This is not the official policy of the Czech Republic. Of course, we will not recommend that anyone place migrants on their islands,” Foreign Minister Lubomir Zaoralek told Czech TV.
In comments made on the sidelines of the Rhodes Forum, an annual event held by a Russian-led think tank on the Greek island, Zeman said that the solution to Europe’s migrant crisis was to deport those not at threat of persecution.
“We are in Greece, and Greece has plenty of uninhabited islands, and big foreign debt. So if you have ‘hot spots’ in Greek islands, this would be a sort of payment of foreign debt,” Zeman was quoted by the Financial Times as saying. He also suggested deporting migrants to “empty places” in North Africa.