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Slovakia will not implement mandatory EU migrant quotas, PM says

Slovakia will not implement a mandatory quota system to share 120,000 refugees across the European Union and will take the issue to court, Slovak Prime Minister Robert Fico said on Wednesday.

Fico, speaking at a press conference, emphasized that Slovakia is a sovereign country and noted that the decision by the European Union was through a "dictate of the majority." Tuesday's vote by majority was highly unusual as issues that involve national sovereignty are typically accepted through unanimous decision.

"We will go in two directions: first one, we will file a charge at the court in Luxembourg ... secondly, we will not implement the decision of the interior ministers," Fico said, as quoted by the Reuters news agency. EU member states refusing to accept migrants could face a financial penalty of 0.002% of the country's GDP.

Also on Wednesday, Czech Prime Minister Bohuslav Sobotka said his country does not plan to challenge the quota system, even though the Czech Republic is against it.

"Although I dislike the use of quotas - I disagree with them and as a state we voted against it - the solution is not for Europe to fall apart over the migrant crisis," Sobotka said in a brief statement. "Therefore, I do not want to take actions that would further escalate tensions. The rope can be stretched only so far and then it breaks. We are waiting for the next battle for a realistic approach to the migration crisis and we need partners in Europe to listen to our arguments."

On Tuesday, a majority of European Union member states voted in favor of a quota system to share 120,000 refugees across the European Union, despite fierce opposition from central and eastern states. Hungary, the Czech Republic, Romania and Slovakia all voted against the plan to share the intake of refugees, while Finland abstained. Poland, which was initially against the system, voted in favor.

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