‘We can’t take any Muslims, we haven’t got any mosques!’ Slovakia agrees to accept 200 Syrian migrants – as long as they’re Christian
By Simon Tomlinson for MailOnline
Published: 14:41, 19 August 2015 |
Slovakia has agreed to take in 200 Syrian migrants to help with the growing crisis – but only if they are Christian.
Bratislava officials claim Muslim refugees wouldn’t feel at home because the country has such a tiny Islamic population.
An Interior Ministry spokesman said: ‘In Slovakia, we don’t have mosques… we only want to choose the Christians.’
Syrian migrants set off in board an inflatable boat from Bodrum, southwest Turkey, in an attempt to reach the Greek island of Kos early on Wednesday. Slovakia has agreed to take in 200 Syrian migrants to help with the growing crisis – but only if they are Christian.
Groups of migrants board rubber dinghies in bid to reach Kos.
His comments, reported by the Wall Street Journal, highlight how the European Union’s ideals of multiculturalism are being challenged by the escalating migrant crisis which has seen more than 100,000 refugees make their way to Europe in just a month.
Eastern European countries, in particular, are showing growing resistance to helping out after facing a backlash from voters.
New data has revealed 21,000 refugees and migrants arrived in Greece last week alone, leaving the country’s unprepared registration system struggling to deal with the growing crisis.
Almost 110,000 people crossed into Europe through unofficial channels in July, compared to just 70,000 people in June.
Germany has revealed it expects to register 750,000 refugees this year, compared to just 203,000 claims last year.
Hungary, which has seen an influx of about 130,000 migrants this year, is to send several thousand police officers to the southern border with Serbia in a new effort to stem the rising flow of migrants.
Hundreds of migrants on an overflowing platform in southern Macedonia desperately trying to get aboard trains travelling to Serbia. Many then carve a route through eastern Europe and on to other countries.
Migrants risking their lives for uncertain future in Europe.
Janos Lazar, Prime Minister Viktor Orban’s chief of staff, has claimed the country is ‘under an organised attack’ by human traffickers who aren’t only transporting migrants but instructing them about how to abuse the European Union’s refugee system.
Hungary is currently building a 110 mile razor-wire fence along the border with Serbia, and is bringing in laws which will make crossing into the country illegally punishable by a prison sentence.
But Greece – which has been accused of not showing enough leadership – has criticised how Hungary is choosing to deal with the problem, saying it cannot be addressed by building fences.
Government spokeswoman Olga Gerovassili added: ‘This problem cannot be solved by imposing stringent legal processes in Greece, and, certainly, not by overturning the boats.’
Greek officials said they needed better coordination within the European Union.
Grovassili said simply: ‘This country doesn’t have the financial resources or the infrastructure to get through this in a dignified manner.’