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Schengen zone never closer to disintegration: Polish deputy FM

PR dla Zagranicy
Paweł Kononczuk 18.02.2016 11:35
The Schengen free-travel zone has never been closer to disintegration than today, amid an ongoing refugee crisis, Polish Deputy Foreign Minister Konrad Szymański said on Thursday, ahead of an EU summit in Brussels.
PM Beata Szydło. Photo: PAP/Rafał GuzPM Beata Szydło. Photo: PAP/Rafał Guz

Szymański told private broadcaster TVN24 that unless tighter controls are introduced on the Schengen area’s land borders, Europe’s cherished free-travel zone will not survive.

Asked on TVN24 whether the Schengen area was close to breaking up, Szymański said: "We have never been closer, we can say that with certainty."

Earlier this week, Polish Prime Minister Beata Szydło and her Visegrad Group counterparts called for a fence to be installed to close off Macedonia and Bulgaria's borders with Greece, along a key immigration route from the Middle East to Western Europe.

Some commentators have predicted a clash between German Chancellor Angela Merkel and the Visegrad Group at the EU summit starting on Thursday.

But Szymański said that Szydło was not planning a confrontation with Merkel.

Increasing controls at the Macedonian and Bulgarian borders “is something complementary, additional. Perhaps this can be regarded as a plan B,” Szymański said.

“Today, we cannot rule out that the Greek-Turkish border will be uncontrolled, and we must have the means to slow down the wave of migration on land. Without that the Schengen zone will not survive." (pk)

Source: PAP

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