Just over a month before Slovakia will take the rotating presidency of the European Union, Prime Minister Robert Fico claims that Islam has no place in his country.
“”Islam has no place in Slovakia,” Fico told media on Wednesday night saying that the problem of the migrant crisis was not, “that migrants come, but that migrants change the character of our country,” and continued, “we do not want the character of this country to change. Let’s be honest and say that will not happen in Slovakia,” Der Standard reports.
The Slovakian Prime Minister has made similar comments in the past in reaction to the Cologne New Years Eve sex attacks when he and several other nations demanded stricter border controls and said, “the idea of multicultural Europe has failed… The migrants cannot be integrated, it’s simply impossible.”
Slovakia, along with Poland, Hungary and the Czech Republic, also known as the Visegrad 4 nations (V4), have been some of the staunchest opponents of the European Union’s policies toward the migrant crisis. Slovakia has taken part in a total boycott against the bloc’s attempts to spread the burden of migrants across Europe by relocating them according to a quota system.
Slovakia, alongside Poland and Hungary are being threatened with €250,000 fines per migrant they refuse to rehome from the European Union.
“I do not wish tens of thousands of Muslims coming here and promoting their own stuff,” Fico said, confirming that he will not back down on his views that Islamisation is a threat to Slovakian culture.
The six month term presidency of the European Union will give the Slovakian Prime Minister a platform to express his views to the council of ministers which he will chair and the European Union Commission who are fiercely opposed to attitudes of his country and the V4.
President of the EU Commission Jean-Claude Juncker has already expressed displeasure over the views of the V4 and the rise of anti-mass migration candidates across Europe. He was recorded as saying there was a, “real risk that the principle of solidarity could be called into question in all EU policy areas if it were not also applied in the reception of asylum seekers.”
Juncker has also vowed to use his power to make sure no right wing populists can be elected in a European Union member state. “There will be no debate or dialogue with the far-right,” he told media. The comments were in response to the Austrian presidential elections that saw the right wing Freedom Party (FPOe) candidate Norbert Hofer lose by just 31,000 votes.
Many, including FPOe leader Heinz-Christian Strache have questioned the result and the many irregularities surrounding the postal vote which tipped the election in president-elect Alexander Van der Bellen’s favour.
Fico has also indirectly commented on the rise of the FPOe in Austria saying that is Slovakia had gone down the same road as the Austrians in regards to the migrant crisis they would also see the rise of right wing parties. He claimed that it is, ” not enough to lead by example alone, there are also developments in Germany, where radical parties have gained support.” The last Slovakian election also saw the rise of populist anti-mass migration parties earlier this year.