EU proposal on asylum seeker scheme does not respect reality: Slovak minister

The border crossing between Austria and Slovakia is seen near Kittsee, Austria, March 7, 2016. REUTERS/Leonhard Foeger

BRATISLAVA (Reuters) - A European Commission proposal to systematically distribute asylum seekers across the EU sets the bloc’s efforts to tackle the migrant crisis back and does not match reality, Slovakia’s interior minister said on Wednesday.

Slovakia was strongly opposed to a quota system agreed by member states last year and is contesting that scheme in court. Minister Robert Kalinak said the new proposal’s timing was difficult given efforts to reach consensus on closing migrant routes and reaching a deal on refugees with Turkey.

“In the middle of these very sensitive talks, a proposal is put on the table that sets us back nine months and does not respect the reality in some aspects,” he said.

Reporting by Tatiana Jancarikova; Writing by Jason Hovet; editing by John Stonestreet