Friday, March 4, 2016

Greece lashes out at Slovak PM in spat over migrants

Financial Times

Greece has questioned Slovak prime minister Robert Fico’s ability to head his country’s turn at the EU’s rotating presidency in July, in the latest salvo in an increasingly bitter war of words between Bratislava and Athens.

Mr Fico, who has deployed strong anti-immigrant rhetoric alongside sharp criticism of Greece in his bid to be re-elected on Saturday, this week said he thought Greece should be “sacrificed” and kicked out of the Schengen free movement area to stop migrants arriving on its shores entering the rest of the EU, writes Henry Foy.

Athens, which summoned Mr Fico’s ambassador in Greece to complain, on Friday said his “delirium” called into question whether he could lead his country when it assumes the rotating presidency of the EU in July.

    It is obvious that the Slovak Prime Minister, just a few days before the elections in his country, wants to invest his election campaign with vitriol and human drama.

    We are unable to witness his delirium and understand how he hopes, if re-elected, to carry out his duties as prime minister of a country that will soon assume the presidency of the Council of Ministers of the European Union.

Mr Fico, who is forecast to win Saturday’s election but lose his majority, has stoked fears of migrants entering Slovakia to whip up votes, despite refusing to accept any refugees under the EU’s redistribution quota and granting asylum to just eight people last year.

This is not the first contract that the LSI has reached with US lobbying firms.

In 2009 and 2010 it engaged two other US companies, DUTKO Worldwide LLC and Blue Star Strategies, on retainers of $30,000 and $22,500 per month respectively.

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