Kiska stresses need to help those misery-stricken

SLOVAK President Andrej Kiska, has called for solidarity and help for those stricken by misery and bad twists of life, especially now, in light of the current migration crisis.

President Andrej KiskaPresident Andrej Kiska (Source: TASR)

In an interview for the online version of the German Der Spiegel magazine, Kiska said that for immigrants, this situation is a matter of life and death, while for Slovaks, it is a matter of heart and soul; and “the issue is in what kind of society we want to live, and what are we ready to do for this to happen”.

While stressing the responsibility of parliament and government – led by Prime Minister Robert Fico – to make the decisions on whether and how many refugees to accept, Kiska in the story published on October 3 also said that the situation of “closing doors” and not letting refugees in, or leaving their salvation and care solely on a few countries in the European Union, is definitely not the best option – and not sustainable in the long term, while it also ignores the voices of EU partners for more solidarity.

The Slovak president, called “a fighter against wind-mills” by the magazine, denies perceiving his position among EU leaders, especially in eastern and central Europe, in this way. He opines that if we want to solve the refugee crisis and stay true to the values of the European Union at the same time, we are obliged to solidarity, humanity and hospitality.

Kiska is also set to deliver a speech in parliament on the current migrant crisis in Europe, on October 7, at 14:00.

He expects that the Slovak government, like the other states of the Union, will fully respect the decision on the redistribution of 120,000 refugees. Kiska does not think that the quotas are a good solution, however, stating that we should voluntarily show that we are willing to accept them, but we failed to do this.

“Our Constitution says that we respect and abide by international treaties. The decision of the Council of the European Union is binding for us,” he said in the discussion program O 5 Minút 12 aired by the public-service television RTVS where he also announced his Wednesday parliamentary address. He continued to say that mandatory quotas for re-distribution of refugees among individual EU member states is not a very good solution, but Slovaks should have freely shown their will and their willingness to accept a certain amount of people who want to share our values. “We should have shown our willingness and effort to help in this issue – which we have not,” the president summed up. 

The speech has already been confirmed for the TASR newswire by the head of the press department of parliament, Martin Dorčák. Kiska wants to touch on the refugee crisis and the ensuing position of Slovakia within Europe.  

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