Slovak PM says refugee influx threatens EU's integrity

Slovak PM says EU will collapse if refugee influx is not controlled

Photo by: Reuters
Photo by: Reuters

Slovakia’s Prime Minister Robert Fico addresses a news conference after a European Union leaders extraordinary summit on the migrant crisis in Brussels, Belgium September 24, 2015

The European Union will either manage to get the refugee influx under control this year or it will collapse, Slovak Prime Minister Robert Fico wrote in an article published on Tuesday.

"Whether someone likes it or not, 2016 will be the year when the EU will either get the migration (refugee) crisis under control or collapse," Fico wrote in business daily Hospodarske Noviny.

Leftist Fico has long held a tough anti-immigration stance and made tackling the flow of refugees the main propaganda of his upcoming election campaign. Parliamentary elections will be held on March 5 in Slovakia, which is 5.4 million, Catholic, and quite homogenic.

"To overlook growing tension, nervousness and fear among people of the fact that EU does not have a real solution to the migration crisis while the migration wave continues ... could have catastrophic consequences," Fico added.

Fico has argued for beefing up EU border protection, and his government filed a lawsuit against a European Union decision to redistribute 160,000 asylum seekers among member countries.

He has linked the influx of refugees into the bloc to the November attacks in Paris and violence on New Year's Eve in Cologne, Germany, and has called multiculturalism "a fiction".

Fico's statements come ahead of next week's meeting of the Visegrad group of central European countries and an EU summit that will tackle the refugee crisis.

The Czech Republic, Slovakia, Hungary and Poland have together taken a tough stance on the refugee crisis and have been at odds with western EU neighbours in dealing with an influx of refugees that topped 1 million last year.

The number of refugees entering central European states is low, since most of them prefer richer EU countries such as Germany.

TRTWorld, Reuters