25 Jan 2018

Slovak PM: Let's avoid becoming Belgium

Slovak Prime Minister Robert Fico published a commentary saying he doesn't want Slovakia to be "full of migrants from developing countries" like there are in the suburbs of Brussels.

Ria Gehrerová
Ria Gehrerová Denník N, Slovakia
Source: Denník N
Slovak PM: Let's avoid becoming Belgium - NewsMavens
Bratislava, Slovakia. Wikicommons

Why this story matters:

Europe is no longer at the peak of its migration crisis, but the rhetoric of the Slovak PM Robert Fico has yet to change.

What has changed is the cause of fear. It's not the people from the Middle East or Africa that are now the target of anti-immigration statements, but our Slavic brothers and sisters from Serbia and Ukraine.

As the unemployment rate in Slovakia decreases, some Slovak companies are desperately looking for workers outside the EU. Serbs and Ukrainians are among those willing to work here, but Fico refuses to accept that Slovakia needs cheaper labor from abroad.

migration, politics, work

Details from the story:

  • From 2015 to 2017, the number of Serbs working in Slovakia grew from 1,000 to 12,000, according to official counts.
  • The number of Ukrainians working in Slovakia is growing as well, because they don't need visas to enter the EU.
  • Migration experts are concerned about Fico's rhetoric. They say he should concentrate on integration instead of trying to scare Slovaks about Balkan migrants and triggering fear.
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