The fact that Bratislava is home to more foreigners than anywhere else in the country comes as no surprise, as the majority of foreign businesses are based there, but the growth since Slovakia joined the EU has been rapid.
The total number of foreigners in Slovakia, based on Ministry of Interior data, rose almost threefold from 5,600 to 16,000 over the space of just four years from 2004-2008, as the door to the EU opened up for the country.
Being cited by SITA newswire, governor of Bratislava region Pavol Freso said over a third of foreigners registered as living in Slovakia are based in the Bratislava region, and make up around 3% of the region’s population. He puts this down to the economy of the region.
Freso is also cited as expressing concern over how key specialised jobs might be occupied by foreigners instead of Slovaks, saying more should be done to encourage Slovaks abroad to return to their homeland and stop the braindrain. Freso underlined that it was essential that migrants respect Slovakia’s “Christian, national and cultural traditions”.