The European Union has initiated legal action against the Czech Republic, Hungary and Poland for failing to comply with a controversial order to take in thousands of migrants from Africa, Asia and the Middle East.
The dispute dates back to September 2015, when, at the height of Europe's migration crisis, EU member states narrowly voted to relocate 120,000 "refugees" from Italy and Greece to other parts of the bloc. This number was in addition to a July 2015 plan to redistribute 40,000migrants from Italy and Greece.
Of the 160,000 migrants to be "shared," nine countries in Central and Eastern Europe were ordered to take in around 15,000 migrants. Although the Czech Republic, Hungary, Romania and Slovakia voted against the agreement, they were still required to comply.
Since then, several Central European EU member states have vehemently refused to accept their assigned quotas of migrants. Poland, for example, has a quota of 6,182 migrants, not one of whom has been admitted. The Czech Republic has a quota of 2,691 migrants, of whom only 12 have been taken. Hungary has a quota of 1,294, none of whom have been admitted.
Meanwhile, the enforcers of European "unity" have sought to shame the Central European holdouts into compliance by appealing to nebulous concepts such as European "values" and "solidarity." French President Emmanuel Macron, for example, recently warned:
"European countries that do not respect the rules should pay the full political consequences. There is a double betrayal. They decide to abandon EU principles, turn their back on Europe and have a cynical approach to the union which gives them money, without respecting its values."
Leaders in Central and Eastern Europe have held their ground. In Poland, Prime Minister Beata Szydło said her country would not be blackmailed by European Union officials. In a speech to Parliament on May 24, two days after the jihadist attack in Manchester, England, in which a Polish couple was killed, she said:
"We are not going to take part in the madness of the Brussels elite.... Rise from your knees and from your lethargy or you will be crying over your children every day.
"If you cannot see this — if you cannot see that terrorism currently has the potential to hurt every country in Europe, and you think that Poland should not defend itself — you are going hand in hand with those who point this weapon against Europe, against all of us.
"It needs to be said clearly and directly: This is an attack on Europe, on our culture, on our traditions. Do we want strong politicians who can see the danger and can fight against it efficiently?"
Polish Interior Minister Mariusz Błaszczak said that agreeing to European Union quotas would "certainly be worse" than any punishment meted out by Brussels:
"We must not forget the terror attacks that have taken place in Western Europe, and how — in the bigger EU countries — these are unfortunately now a fact of life. Remember, that the now very numerous Muslim communities in Western Europe started out as relatively small numbers....
"I tell my counterparts in Western Europe that the relocation strategy only intensifies illegal migration because traffickers get even more customers when would-be migrants hear that people delivered to Europe are being given refuge in EU nations other than Italy and Greece."
In the Czech Republic, Prime Minister Bohuslav Sobotka said that "given the deteriorating security situation in Europe and the non-functioning of the quota system, the Czech government will not participate in it." He added: "We are ready to defend our position in the EU and the relevant judicial institutions."
In Hungary, Prime Minister Viktor Orbán has warned of the "explosive consequences" of a culture clash between Europe and migrants from the Muslim world:
"Let us not forget that those arriving have been raised in another religion, and represent a radically different culture. Most of them are not Christians, but Muslims. This is an important question, because Europe and European identity is rooted in Christianity. Is it not worrying in itself that European Christianity is now barely able to keep Europe Christian? If we lose sight of this, the idea of Europe could become a minority interest in its own continent."
Earlier this week, the United States claimed that a new attack involving chemical weapons was in the works by the Syrian government.
"The United States has identified potential preparations for another chemical weapons attack by the Assad regime that would likely result in the mass murder of civilians, including innocent children. The activities are similar to preparations the regime made before its April 4, 2017 chemical weapons attack," the White House said in a statement.
In response, Damascus refuted the claims, calling them "misleading, false and baseless." Ali Haidar, the Minister of State for National Reconciliation Affairs in Syria said Damascus has never used and will never use such weapons. He also accused the US of an attempt to ignite a "diplomatic battle" against Syria in the UN.
Commenting on the statement, Kremlin spokesperson Dmitry Peskov said that Moscow regards it as groundless.
"We heard about this statement. We do not know what the basis is. And of course we categorically disagree with the 'another attack' wording," Peskov told journalists.
This statement is a "disguise" for another attempt by the US to escalate the conflict in Syria, according to Akil Mahfud, Director of International Relations at the Syrian Ministry of Higher Education.
"First, this is a signal of new acts of aggressions against Damascus and its allies. This is a disguise for aggression. Second. This is a response to Moscow and [Russian Foreign Minister Sergei] Lavrov’s criticism of the US counterterrorism efforts in Syria. This statement indicates that the Syrian crisis is on the verge of a new escalation and Russia should be braced for talks and an increase in pressure," Mahfud told Sputnik.
Senior Russian lawmaker Konstantin Kosachev suggested that the US might be preparing for a "preemptive" attack on Syrian government troops as Washington warned of a possible chemical attack allegedly planned by Damascus.
Active military engagement in Syria — thus, profit, regime change, and domination — hinge on your acceptance of the chemical attack narrative.
In early April, news began circulating that hundreds of Syrian civilians suffered horrendous injuries and excruciating deaths from an unknown chemical agent officials first surmised to be sarin — a conclusion adhered to unquestioningly by the Trump administration and the hawkish mainstream press — which they claimed had been unleashed in a direct assault on civilians.
Without further probe of the April 4 incident, Washington and its darling corporate presstitutes condemned the Assad regime for an attack that never occurred — guaranteeing, in the short run, the sleep-walking masses would fail to question putative ‘authorities’ on the matter.
What we’re being told about Syria holds little basis in reality — in fact, just a cursory glance dismantles nearly the entire voluminous body of pro-regime change propaganda crafted by the U.S.
A propaganda campaign to blame Syria’s government for alleged use of chemical weapons has begun, Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova has warned, adding that the effort is expected to be massive and include “many fakes.”
“As we warned a few days ago, a media propaganda campaign on the ‘use of chemical weapons by Damascus’ has begun,” Zakharova wrote on Facebook.
Zakharova’s post was accompanied by a screenshot from a video being shared on social media allegedly showing a hospital in eastern Ghouta. The speaker in the video claims the people he is filming have been affected by “chlorine gas used by the regime.”
“There will be more of such videos, and they will be of different quality – either low-grade, like this one or of Hollywood level. There will be many fakes, the planned campaign is a massive one,” the Foreign Ministry spokeswoman said.
On Saturday, a Syrian rebel group accused government forces of using chlorine gas against its fighters east of Damascus.
A Reuters report cited a militant group called Failaq al-Rahman which alleged that more than 30 people had “suffered suffocation as a result of the attack in Ain Tarma in the eastern Ghouta region.”
The Syrian army command denied the allegations in a statement run by state media saying that the army “has not used any chemical weapons in the past, and will not use them at any time.”
Earlier this week, the White House claimed that the Syrian government was conducting "potential preparations" for a chemical weapons attack. The statement warned that if Damascus conducted a chemical attack Syrian President Bashar Assad and his military "will pay a heavy price."
In addition, US President Donald Trump had a phone call with French leader Emmanuel Macron, in which the two leaders agreed to work together to find s response in case of a new chemical incident in Syria.
The French president said that Paris could launch unilateral air strikes against targets in Syria if a new chemical attack is carried out.
Moreover, British Defense Secretary Michael Fallon stated that London will support any retaliation by the United States for the use of chemical weapons in Syria.
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