Final Word from Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Instead of passing a permanent quota system yesterday, the EU's interior ministers voted to impose a one-time quota for the distribution of 120,000 refugees. Unlike Poland, which folded under pressure, Bohuslav Sobotka and Milan Chovanec stuck to their guns and criticized both the quota decision and the way it was forced through. The main argument Sobotka uses is that mandatory quotas would permanently change the decision-making process by moving it to Brussels. This is exactly what Germany wants. Amb. Arndt Freytag spoke in HN about the need for common EU standards for asylum policy. Germany won a major battle yesterday but has not yet won the war over a permanent change in policy. Sobotka indicated that he will still not back down. It's ironic that 70 years after the Potsdam Agreement, the biggest showdown in recent years between Czechs and Germans is over the forced relocation of immigrants. [Czech Republic migration immigration European Commission Union]

Glossary of difficult words

to fold - to suddenly stop performing well or effectively; to drop out of an activity;

to stick to one's guns - to refuse to compromise or change, despite criticism.

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