Slovakia to take refugees from Austria

INTERIOR Minister Robert Kaliňák and his Austrian counterpart Johanna Mikl-Leitner signed a memorandum based on which Slovakia will temporarily accept 500 asylum seekers from the Traiskirchen refugee camp. 

Robert Kaliňák (l) and Johanna Mikl-Leitner Robert Kaliňák (l) and Johanna Mikl-Leitner (Source: Courtesy of the Interior Ministry)

The new agreement will be valid for two years.

The refugees will be placed in the refugee camp in Gabčíkovo (Trnava Region). Some inhabitants are, however, afraid of such situation and have launched a petition against it. The inhabitants of the village will also attend the referendum scheduled for August in which they should say whether they agree with reopening the refugee camp, the public-service RTVS reported.

Slovakia will provide the asylum seekers with the accommodation and food, and will cover the expenses. Austria will pay for the transport of the asylum seekers and the money they use for pocket money. If the asylum seekers damage the property of the refugee camp, the repairs will be covered by Austria, as reported by TASR.

Read also:Slovakia to house Austrian asylum-seekers in Gabčíkovo Read more 

Meanwhile, interior ministers of the European Union met in Brussels on July 20 to discuss the voluntary relocation of 40,000 refugees who currently stay in Greece and Italy. The ministers however failed to reach an agreement, the SITA newswire wrote.

According to the document published by the European Union Council, Slovakia should take 100 refugees from Italian and Greek camps and another 100 refugees from the countries outside the EU.

Kaliňák stressed after the meeting that the discussion should be about people, not numbers. Slovakia has already found several ways to help asylum seekers which proved to be successful, the minister said, adding that he “fundamentally rejects” the empty gestures as most of the asylum seekers end in countries like Germany, Belgium, the Netherlands, and Luxembourg.

He repeated that Slovakia will increase the humanitarian transfers and will focus on Christian families from endangered countries as there is a chance they will stay in Slovakia, as reported by TASR.

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