Slovak prime minister blames migrants for terror threat | News | DW | 30.07.2016
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Slovak prime minister blames migrants for terror threat

Slovak Prime Minister Robert Fico says Europe faces a high risk of terror attacks because of unchecked migration. Fico has opposed EU plans to distribute thousands of Syrian migrants across member states.

There is an "absolute link between migration and terrorism," Fico told a news conference in Bratislava on Friday.

"It is clear that potential terrorists might have used uncontrolled migration, not only for passage, but also to bring weapons and explosives," he said. "Therefore the probability there might be more individual terror attacks is very high because there is potential for such attacks."

Slovakia, which holds the rotating EU presidency for the rest of the year, has been one of the toughest critics of the EU's plan for quotas for asylum seekers to stem the wave of migrants arriving in Europe.

Fico told Brussels it had committed "ritual suicide" with its acceptance of hundreds of thousands of refugees, mostly from war-torn Syria. He instead called for stronger borders.

Thousands of unregistered migrants

Fico said some security experts estimated there are around 300,000 migrants in Europe, the bulk of them in Germany, whose backgrounds and intentions were unknown to security officials.

"Anyone could have crossed the borders during the huge influx of illegal migrants. God knows what they had in their backpacks beside food and clothes," said the prime minister.

In less than two weeks, so-called "Islamic State" (IS) jihadists have claimed four bloody assaults in France and Germany that killed nearly 90 people, wounded hundreds and left the continent on edge.

Fico was re-elected on an anti-migration platform in March, vowing to "never bring even a single Muslim to Slovakia." The vote saw a far-right party enter parliament for the first time.

His anti-migrant policies have echoed those of eastern EU hawks like Czech President Milos Zeman, Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban and Jaroslaw Kaczynski, leader of Poland's conservative ruling party.

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