THE OTHER SLOVAKIA

Blog: Beyond “The Invisible”

Journalist Anca Dragu urges foreigners to make politicians care by casting their votes in the upcoming municipal elections on November 10.

Regional election 2017Regional election 2017 (Source: TASR)

So here we are; we, the 114,092 foreigners, officially registered as living in Slovakia at the end of September.

We are coming from basically all over the world. We are of all ages, women and men, black and white, belonging to many religions or are not religious at all. Some of us like to call ourselves “expats” in an attempt to book a place in a “distinguished category of respectable foreigners” often with an air of “Western superiority”.

Others of us are not ashamed of the label “economic migrants” as we have come to work for multinational companies in Slovakia, because we could not find a good job back home, be it in Italy, Spain, Greece, Romania, Bulgaria, Ukraine, Serbia and the list goes on. Of course, there is the group of romantics, usually foreign men who have fallen in love with Slovak women and moved to Slovakia. And yes, there are some of us who came as refugees and stayed.

About 67,768 of us can take part in the upcoming local elections in Slovakia this November, according to data from the Foreigners' Police, with an estimated quarter of this number doing so in Bratislava. This is a significant figure in local elections, since just a few hundred votes can separate candidates.

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