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Slovakia

Yearbook 2015

Slovakia. According to COUNTRYAAH, Europe's refugee crisis dominated the Slovak year. The left government under Robert Fico became one of the EU's strongest opponents in the plan to distribute refugees in quotas to member states. Fico warned against migrants with terrorism coupling, saying that 95% did not flee dangers but sought financial benefits. The government said it could host 200 refugees, but they would not be Muslims but Christians to facilitate integration into Catholic society.

2015 Slovakia

In June, an anti-immigrant demonstration was held in the capital Bratislava under the motto "Stop the Islamization of Europe". Ultranationalist and former Neo-Nazi politician Marian Kotleba called for the defense of Slovakia against its own government that welcomed refugees. Thousands of participants scanned "Slovakia for Slovaks!". Many were arrested after the protest. A counter-demonstration gathered few participants.

Slovakia agreed to a request from Austria to temporarily host a few hundred of the Syrians who sought asylum there. Local residents protested, racist posts flooded the Internet, and the leader of Slovakia's few Muslims testified to increased vulnerability and fear. According to an EU survey, 19% of Slovakians felt that the country needed legal migrants for the economy, the lowest figure in the EU. The corresponding figure for Swedes was 77%.

Together with the Czech Republic and Hungary, Slovakia voted in September against the EU refugee quota plan. The Slovak quota would be 802 asylum seekers, but Fico said no mandatory quotas would be accepted in the country as long as he was prime minister. The government decided to go to the European Court of Justice, and at the end of the year an appeal was lodged against the EU decision.

At the beginning of the year, Slovakia held a referendum on a ban on same-sex marriage and the right of homosexuals to adopt. The electoral debate was characterized by fierce moods, but the turnout was only about 21%. At least 50% was required for a valid result. Same-sex marriage is already banned in Slovakia, but opponents wanted to reduce the risk of the ban being torn down by referendum. About 90% of the voters wanted the ban.

In November, a Ukrainian-registered helicopter crashed in eastern Slovakia and at least six people were killed. The accident happened near the border with Ukraine, and according to the authorities, the helicopter tried to avoid surveillance in the Slovak airspace.

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