THE NUMBER of Slovaks working or studying in the Czech Republic, Great Britain, Ireland, Germany and Austria is estimated to be 300,000, the Sme daily wrote in December 2012. The daily cited the findings of sociologist Miloslav Bahna from the Slovak Academy of Sciences, the author of the study Two Decades of International Migration from Slovakia.
Since Slovak ministries do not keep exact data about the number of migrants, Bahna obtained much of his information from abroad.
According to Bahna’s findings, about 120,000 Slovaks work in the Czech Republic and an additional 25,000 study there. Bahna ascribes this high figure to the absence of a language barrier, relations from the time of the common state and bilateral agreements on employment and studying.
After Slovakia became an EU member in 2004, Great Britain and Ireland, which immediately opened their labour markets, became the most attractive countries for Slovaks. According to official data, 63,000 Slovaks work in Great Britain and about 10,000 in Ireland. Germany registered about 30,000 employees from Slovakia.
About 20,000 Slovaks worked in Austria at the end of 2012, while this number did not include almost 30,000 nurses for seniors, who commute to Austria for what are typically two-week terms, according to Bahna.
Higher wages are the main motivation behind Slovaks going abroad.
29. Apr 2013 at 0:00 | Compiled by Spectator staff