After all the fuss and claims made in the media, Prime Minister Robert Fico announced on Tuesday that Slovakia would be welcoming just 100 refugees from Syria, with them to be handpicked and of the Christian faith.
The whole issue of accepting refugees raised social tensions recently in Slovakia, after a far-right demonstration against immigrants, and media claiming much higher numbers to be expected. In the end, PM Fico said the smaller number was because Slovakia did not accept the mandatory quotas. He said the selection of the refugees by Slovak authorities was so as to have a certain “voluntary principle” in place.
The Prime Minister then noted how Slovakia would select the 100 refugees, who are currently in Italy or Greece, and that this was “the number of people we are willing to accept,” adding how this was Slovakia’s contribution to the decision of the European Union to grant passage to some 40,000 refugees.
Slovakia will also serve as a transit country or temporary holding point for those heading to other countries or waiting for their applications to be processed.