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Nobody could have predicted this…

You might remember that Immigration Minister Jason Kenney told the media a couple days ago that he thought it unlikely the European Union would step in and grant the Czech Republic’s request for imposing visa requirements on Canadians to enter all 27 EU countries,  in retaliation for Canada making that required of Czech citizens trying to enter here.

It seems Minister Kenney’s optimism might be a tad misplaced:

The Swedish presidency of the European Union threatened retaliatory action toward Canada on Wednesday over new visa requirements for Czech citizens, as broader government plans to overhaul the refugee system drew widespread criticism. Critics and experts said Canada has sparked a “visa war” that could harm its trade ambitions with the European Union and its NAFTA relations, because of the new visa it announced Monday for citizens of the Czech Republic and Mexico.Sweden, which holds the rotating EU presidency, said Wednesday it favours a retaliatory visa on Canadian tourists visiting the 27-country bloc.

Granted, it’s not a done deal, and as the article says, it could take months to happen… but I hardly call that except exactly backing up Kenny’s reassurances, or this quotation either:

..remarks Wednesday by Sweden’s Migration and Asylum and Policy Minister Tobias Billstroem stand in sharp contrast to Canadian Immigration Minister Jason Kenney’s assurances to Canwest News Service a day earlier that European retaliation was not at all likely. ” As the presidency of the EU, we are in favour of this reciprocity,” Billstroem told Agence France-Presse.

Jason Kenny is in danger of joining his boss Stephen Harper and his colleague Jim Flaherty in making predictions that turn out exactly the opposite of what they predict.

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2 comments to Nobody could have predicted this…

  • Kuri

    I would be interested to hear what the position of the UK or Ireland is on this. Entry requirements, free movement and visas are uniform within the Schengen zone, but not the entire 27 nation EU. All newer EU countries (such as the Czech republic) must be part of Schengen as an entry requirement but the UK has always refused. (Ireland, in order to maintain free movement to and from the UK, is therefore basically forced to stay out of Schengen and with the UK zone.) I’m not sure the EU could realistically force the UK and Ireland to take retaliatory action. However, they may want to for their own reasons.

  • Ah the the old Conservative crystal ball at work again, more lead than glass.

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