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Slovak foreign minister fears migrant flood may fuel ‘scary’ far-right reaction

AP

Slovakia’s foreign minister said Wednesday that the flood of migrants crossing Europe could unite the far-right in his country, calling it a “scary” prospect.

In an interview with The Associated Press during a visit to Bucharest, Miroslav Lajcak said that “our society has no migration experience.”

“There is a clear difference between the new member states and the old member states.”

He said Western Europe was “multiracial” and “multireligious,” while there wasn’t “a single mosque” in Slovakia.

Migrants “don’t want to come to Slovakia. They want to go to Germany, they want to go to Sweden, they want to go to the countries that give them greater benefits,” he said.

Lajcak denied that Slovakia would select migrants based “on culture or religion.” He said the far-right was “organizing demonstrations against migrants. They are scaring people,” six months before a parliamentary election in the country of 5.4 million.

He said the far-right was telling people, “We will protect you from migrants and people will vote for them. We are not a laboratory, we are real countries, real societies.” He called for a “very open, a very rational, a very deep, substantial discussion” how Europe is going to deal with these issues.

He said that for the first time since Slovakia existed as a state “all extremists got together and marched through Bratislava and it was scary.” He said migrants didn’t want to settle in Slovakia, and that “they don’t even know Slovakia exists at the beginning of their journey.”