Slovakia says it prefers Christian refugees under resettlement scheme

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With growing concerns in europe over the escalation of the refugee crisis, Slovakia has stated that it would prefer Christian migrants within it’s borders under a Europe wide plan to help resettle thousands of people fleeing from war and poverty in Syria, Iraq and parts of Africa. This much was made known by a spokesman for Slovakia’s Interior Ministry.

The republic of Slovakia is prepared to take a 100 migrants from refugee camps in Turkey and a hundred migrants from Italy, preferably Christians, said the spokesman.

“We want to choose people who really want to start a new life in Slovakia. Slovakia as a Christian country can really help Christians from Syria to find new home in Slovakia,” spokesman Ivan Netik said.

“For most migrants we are only a transit country. In Slovakia we have really tiny community of Muslims. We don´t even have mosques.”

The spokesman also said that Muslim migrants who choose to come to Slovakia would not be discriminated against, but stressed that the country was unwilling to take-in asylum-seekers who intend to stay for a short while and then move-on.

“We do not discriminate against any religion, but it would be a false, insincere solidarity if we took people… who don´t want to live in Slovakia,” he said.

The 200 asylum seekers that Slovakia has pledged to take-in is a drop-in-an-ocean compared with the more than 60,000 refugees that EU member states are struggling to distribute under an umbrella European Commission Plan.

Germany is the number one destination for asylum-seekers fleeing violence and poverty in Syria, Iraq and Africa. The German authorities expect the number of asylum-seekers reaching Europe to quadruple this year to a record 800,000.

When asked about the Slovak position, the European Commission spokeswoman Annika Breidthardt said: “We act all in the letter and the spirit of the Treaty, which prevents any form of discrimination.”

Slovakia is not alone in showing a preference for Christians migrants. The President of the Czech republic, Milos Zeman, who has long stressed the threat from Islamist militants and has called for United Nations strikes on their bases, has also indicated a preference for Christian migrants.

Slovakia, a country of 5.4 million has a Roman Catholic tradition and tiny number of immigrants. Only 109 have sought asylum this year.

Despite this small number, several thousands of people took part in a march against-immigration in the Slovak city of Bratislava in June this year. Police detained

over 100 people after the protesting crowd turned violent and torched police cars and attacked bystanders.

In a related development a plan to provide temporary housing for 500 migrants in Austria led to protests in the southwestern town of Gabcikovo this month.
syria-refugees

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