News from Slovakia, Serbia and Germany

Tuesday's World Events - October 11, 2016

Questions

1. For each of the 3 countries, give the following information:

  1. capital
  2. location/the countries that share its borders
  3. the religious breakdown of the population
  4. the type of government
  5. the chief of state (and head of government if different) If monarch or dictator, since what date has he/she ruled? – include name of heir apparent for monarch
  6. the population

Find the answers at the CIA World FactBook website. For each country, answers can be found under the “Geography” “People” and “Government” headings.

NOTE to students: Before answering the questions below, read the information under “Background.”

2. For SLOVAKIA:
a) list the who, what, where and when of the news item
b) The eastern European EU states have proposed the idea of “flexible solidarity.” What does this mean?
c) How much money would an EU country have to pay for every “migrant” they refused to take?
d) Consider the fact that the economies of the eastern European countries are very weak compared to those of the Western European countries. The European Union (EU) comprises 28 member states. Each member state is party to the founding treaties of the union and thereby subject to the privileges and obligations of membership. Last year, German Chancellor Angela Merkel implemented an open-door policy for migrants, allowing all who came into Europe to apply for asylum. Many are not fleeing persecution or war - rather just poverty. The smaller, poorer countries had no say in Merkel’s decision. Do you think these countries have a right to refuse to take migrants? Prime Minister Robert Fico said, “We want the EU’s legislative proposals to reflect attitudes of prime ministers and presidents [of all EU member states] … that have clearly confirmed voluntariness as a basic principle in migration matters.” Do you agree? Explain your answer.

3. For SERBIA:
a) list the who, what, where and when of the news item
b) Where are the migrants from who are demanding improved housing (accommodations)? Who are they? Why did they come to Europe?
c) Consider the information in this article: Why do you think the number of migrants entering Europe has lessened this year?
d) Commenting on this Reuters article, reader Justin wrote:
"We will walk to border with Hungary," said Sadaqat Khan, a Pakistani in his 20s from Qetta. Most of the migrants seek sanctuary in the wealthy countries of Northern Europe. "We do not want Serbia," Khan said.
We don't WANT Serbia? Are they literally admitting now they're just country welfare shopping? And why is a Pakistani there? Last time I checked there wasn't a war going on there.
and
Reader Jay wrote:
Where are all the women and children? If this really was a migration from war there would be families fleeing the conflicts, not just able bodied men of fighting age. And Serbia isn't good enough for them, they want to go to rich welfare countries… Never once have I seen a sign saying "I will WORK for food and clothing" just signs saying give me food, give me shelter, give me clothing…! These young men need to go back and fight for their homeland.
Do you think these are fair assertions, or uncompassionate and unfeeling? Explain your answer.

4. For GERMANY:
a) list the who, what, where and when of the news item
b) What led police to believe the Syrian refugee’s plot was motivated by ISIS?
c) In addition to being bad news for German Chancellor Angela Merkel (and her open-door migrants policy) who else is this refugee’s plot bad news for?
d) What other Islamic terrorist attacks have been carried out by Syrian refugees in Germany in the past several months?
e) U.S. presidential candidate Donald Trump says he would limit the number of Syrians coming into the U.S. because we cannot confirm who they really are as Syria is in chaos. Trump says we should instead create a safe zone in/near Syria, providing funding for security, housing, food, etc.
Presidential candidate Hillary Clinton wants to increase the number of Syrian refugees brought to the U.S. from 10,000 to 65,000 and says our vetting process is good.
The Washington Post reported: "While they say U.S. security measures are much better than in the past, several Obama administration officials have said vetting Syrian refugees poses a quandary: How do you screen people from a war-torn country that has few criminal and terrorist databases to check?"
Who is right? Ask a parent.