Slovakia Spars With Neighbors On Immigration As Leftist Party Forms Government

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Even as the leftist party of former Slovak prime minister Robert Fico begins the task of forming a new government after elections over the weekend, the caretaker administration is at odds with Poland, the Czech Republic and Austria over illegal immigration. Slovakia’s three neighbors have tightened border controls to halt the movement of illegal immigrants from the Middle East and as far away as Afghanistan.  Many of the immigrants, who are mostly young men, arrive in the Balkans and move through Hungary and other Eastern European countries and try to reach Germany and Western Europe.  Immigration has become a point of contention in Europe between neighboring countries within the E.U. as the governing body has imposed immigration quotas and visa-free zones.  A hard line on immigration helped carry Fico to victory in Slovakia and weighs heavy in the upcoming Polish elections in less than two weeks.