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Who will take Kuzmina as a neighbour?

In Slovakia, immigrants mostly provoke negative feelings. Not when it comes to the biathlon.

Anastasiya Kuzmina thanks her fans after silver victory on February 12.(Source: SITA)

“And who gave her that passport???” the police, “feeling excited”, wrote on their official Facebook page after Anastasiya Kuzmina won her and Slovakia’s second Olympic medal in Pyeongchang on February 15.

Let’s not to spoil the well-deserved joy of Slovaks over their Olympic biathlete star and go into the technicalities of who awards citizenship and for what motive. And let’s not talk about the bumpy ride that awaits every foreigner who needs to deal with the immigration authorities under the Police Corps. Suffice to say that the road to Slovak citizenship is thorny, to say the least, for all those who do not fare very well in sports.

Fortunately, most jobs that remain vacant in Slovakia today do not have Slovak citizenship as a requirement. All one needs is to be willing to come and live in the country and do one’s best to succeed.

This last point is not that clear to Slovakia-born folk, and the way we have been discussing migration since 2015 did not help their attitudes. The most recent example is the news from the small western Slovak town of Sereď. The mayor recently convened a public gathering to discuss with his citizens the demands of local businesses who want to build dormitories for foreign workers (most likely Serbians or Ukrainians) in the town.

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