a bitter melon

Visegrad countries united in xenophobia

The Visegrád countries -- Poland, Czechia, Slovakia and Hungary -- are united in their xenophobia and the common language of hate:

Deutsche Welle -- Czech president warns of migrants' 'barbaric acts' (Aug 2, 2016)

Czech President Milos Zeman has said migrants pose a security threat to his country. He also criticized German Chancellor Angela Merkel's refugee policies.

"Our country simply cannot afford to risk terrorist attacks like what occurred in France and Germany. By accepting migrants, we would create fertile ground for barbaric attacks," said Zeman's spokesman, Jiri Ovcacek, pointing to the recent events in Europe.

Deutsche Welle -- Slovak prime minister blames migrants for terror threat (Jul 30, 2016)

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.

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.

The Independent -- Hungarian prime minister calls migrants entering Europe a 'poison' (Jul 27, 2016)

The Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban has described the influx of refugees and other migrants into Europe as a "poison" that his country "won't swallow". [...]

"For us migration is not a solution but a problem... not medicine but a poison, we don't need it and won't swallow it."

RT -- ‘I want border police!’ Mayor of Polish border town to RT on measures to keep refugees out (Aug 2, 2016)

“Germany is all black now, I was in Berlin just two days ago, I couldn't see a native German. I don't know what will be the situation there in the future…” [...]

“I think that the best way to stop refugees is to behave like Hungary, and build a massive wall and not let them in. Among them are mostly young men, why do they run away?” the woman said.

The language of hate used by the leaders of the Visegrád countries is jarring in its callousness and unabashed xenophobia.

But judging by public sentiment and the scale of the humanitarian crisis in Syria it is not unlikely that after the next round of elections it's a language that, soon, most of Europe will be speaking:

Reuters -- Half Europeans fear, resent refugees - survey (Jul 11, 2016)

Washington-based Pew Research Center found the share of people believing that "refugees will increase the likelihood of terrorism in our country" was, among others, 46 percent in France, 52 percent in Britain, 61 percent in Germany, 71 percent in Poland and 76 percent in Hungary.

Asked for their view of Muslims, Some two thirds of Poles, Greeks, Italians and Hungarians were "unfavourable", a view shared by fewer than a third of French, Germans and Britons.

And what rough beast, its hour come round at last,
Slouches towards Bethlehem to be born?

Background from EUobserver: