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Ukrainian refugees, anti-immigration politics, and the limits of solidarity in Slovakia



By Jakub Crcha

May 6, 2022 — Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal reposted from LeftEast — Within the first two months of the Russian invasion of Ukraine, more than 5 million people have fled Ukraine. This has created an unprecedented situation in the countries neighboring Ukraine. Over 350,000 people have entered Slovakia since the war started, and while some of them continue their journey towards the western countries, a majority is staying for the time being. People from across the country are donating food, medicine, clothes, or money. They are offering their spare rooms and apartments to Ukrainian refugees for free. Companies and institutes are opening up job positions specifically crafted for Ukrainians of all qualifications, and the national railways and many bus companies offer free travel to Ukrainian citizens. But most importantly, these acts of solidarity do not exist outside or in opposition to the state. On the contrary, the state itself is providing a significant amount of emergency infrastructure, accommodation, healthcare, and the minister of finance made promises to financially support the people who host Ukrainian refugees. This marks a radical departure from the state’s role in the previous “migration crises” when the state distanced itself from humanitarian assistance.

East of the West: Czech Republic, Slovakia, Hungary and Poland after the EU election

A supporter of the the Communist Party of Bohemia and Moravia (KSCM) at a party rally.

By Jirí Málek

[This analysis was presented at the international workshop of the Rosa Luxemburg Foundation “On the situation of the left in Europe after the EU elections: New challenges”. Held July 21-23, 2014, in Berlin.]

Transform! Network -- Before me is the task of speaking in a limited time on things that can hardly be responsibly described in brief. For that reason please allow me to make use of a method that could be compared to tossing a flat stone along a flat surface – ever grazing the water, making a couple of little waves and flying off a little more to brush the surface again. With regards to several issues I too will merely brush the surface and rush on to others. And it is likely more questions will arise than answers.

What will I be speaking about? The Karlovy Vary Film Festival has a section called: East of the West. Likewise we will devote this time to the area east of the West, though in the slightly narrower sense of the part of Central Europe otherwise known as the Visegrad Four: the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Hungary and Poland (total 106 European parliament seats – 14.1 %).

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