Slovak expats want more attention from politicians

SLOVAKS living abroad would like politicians to show interest in them not just before elections but also afterwards.

Illustrative stock photoIllustrative stock photo (Source: Sme)

In the new election term, they would like to get greater financial support, see the founding of the Centre of Slovak Outland in Bratislava, renewal of the Committee for Slovaks Living Abroad with the parliamentary Foreign Committee where expats would be represented, and also the possibility to cast their vote either via internet or at representative offices, the January 20 statement of chairman of the World Association of Slovaks Abroad (SZSZ) Vladimír Skalský informs.

“In the new term, the association especially wants the volume of grants increased, at least to the level already promised by government in a resolution, which used to be really allocated before the crisis – about €1.3 million,” Skalský specified, as quoted by the TASR newswire. Even this is less than Hungary or Poland allocated to their expats, he added. “This definitely does not correspond with the fact that two million Slovaks live abroad who create values for Slovakia.”  The current amount earmarked for grants is only half, according to Skalský, and it decreases each year by about €100,000.

Skalský estimated the total share of Slovaks living abroad in the March 5 general election at 40,000-50,000, of which about 15,000 will participate via post, and the rest will arrive in person to cast their vote. However, there are about 200,000 to 300,000 voters abroad, according to SZSZ. The association’s chairman would like to see Slovak expats have a bigger share in domestic political development. 

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