President Kiska: It is up to the government to react to the Gabčíkovo referendum

IT is the government’s responsibility to respond to the results of the August 2 referendum in the village of Gabčíkovo in the Trnava region, in which 97 percent of locals disagreed with the temporary placing of 500 asylum seekers from Austria into a Slovak Technical University dorm, President Andrej Kiska said on August 6.

President Andrej KiskaPresident Andrej Kiska (Source: SITA)

Kiska was reacting to the results of the referendum, stating that if such a referendum took place anywhere in Slovakia it would have yielded a similar outcome. Unlike several opposition parties, Kiska did not call on the government to respect the referendum’s results, the TASR newswire reported.

“I want to state clearly that the government has my full support in meeting the commitments that it has made in this issue,” Kiska said, in reference to the agreement with Austria on providing shelter and food on a temporary basis to 500 immigrants, whose asylum applications will still be dealt with in Austria.

According to Kiska, the result of the referendum is a consequence of several mistakes, including how the issue has been debated on the Slovak political scene.

“Let’s stop giving the impression that a cultural and social disaster is looming large if we do what’s expected from Slovakia as a partner in the EU - i.e. if we provide actual help to a small group of refugees and temporary help to a few hundred [asylum seekers] from Austria,” Kiska said.

The president further stated that the thousands of foreigners with various cultural and ethnic background who have come to Slovakia in the past 25 years do not appear to have contributed to a higher crime rate or other threats to the country’s security.

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