Originally posted on July 29, 2016.
In a recent trip through Hungary, Slovakia, Austria, Germany and France, Debbie and I found that anti-immigration populism ruled the day. Progressive leftist governments were under full-scale siege. The media will not let Americans know the real story abroad, nor will the U.S. media report the powerful public support for anti-immigration (Muslim) populism at home.
The Washington Post correctly explains conditions in Slovakia as its anti-Muslim immigration leader prepares to become the new leader of the EU.
The job of the presidency rotates every six months among E.U. member states. Next week, Slovakia will replace the Netherlands. Slovakia’s prime minister, Robert Fico, has been one of the more outspoken European leaders on the subject of Muslim immigration.
“Islam has no place in Slovakia,” Fico told reporters in May. He warned that “migrants change the character of our country,” and declared he would not allow such change to affect his nation. Fico, like other politicians from Eastern and Central Europe, has argued that his country has no obligation to house refugees.
“We cannot tolerate an influx of 300,000-400,000 Muslim immigrants who would like to start building mosques all over our land and trying to change the nature, culture and values of the state,” he said in January 2015.
Fico declared this January that he would “never make a voluntary decision that would lead to the formation of a unified Muslim community in Slovakia.” He went on: “Multiculturalism is a fiction. Once you let migrants in, you can face such problems.”
“I only have one question: Who bombed Libya?” Fico said in August, referring to the 2011 NATO intervention against the regime of Libyan dictator Moammar Gaddafi. “Who created problems in North Africa? Slovakia? No. “
Fico’s anti-immigrant populism is in part seen as an attempt to head off far-right politics within Slovakia. But it hasn’t impressed European policy-makers and officials who are still working to push through a deal that will establish mandatory quotas of asylum seekers each E.U. member state would have to accommodate.