Prague, Nov 18 (CTK) – The number of Slovaks living in the Czech Republic with a population of 10.5 million has doubled in the past ten years to some 110,700, while about 10,500 Czechs lived in Slovakia as of the end of September, according to both countries’ statistics.
Czechs made up more than 10 percent of the five-million population of Slovakia almost 25 years after the split of the joint state, Czechoslovakia on January 1, 1993.
Slovaks make up the most numerous group of foreigners and the biggest part foreign employees in the Czech Republic.
In Slovakia, Czechs fare fourth among foreign employees. In mid-2017, 4,492 Czechs were employed in Slovakia, while in September, it was 4,524. They made up one-tenth of foreign labour force.
At the end of last year, 161,600 Slovaks worked in the Czech Republic, which was more than two-fifths of all foreign employees, according to a report of the Labour and Social Affairs Ministry.
At the end of September, 46,800 people from Slovakia had permanent residence and 63,900 Slovaks had temporary residence in the Czech Republic, according to the Interior Ministry’s data.
Slovak women live permanently in the Czech Republic more often than Slovak men who have temporary residence more frequently.
The number of Slovaks living in the Czech Republic permanently has been rising. While at the end of 2007, the Interior Ministry registered some 24,400, at the end of this September it was almost twice more.
A number of Slovaks also seek Czech citizenship.
From 2001 till 2015, 14,134 Slovaks gained Czech citizenship. The highest number (almost 3,600) was in 2001, then it was gradually declining to 150 in 2015, with the exception of 2014 when 574 Slovaks became Czech citizens. An amendment from January 2014 enabled to have two citizenships.
People of Slovak origin fill significant posts in the Czech Republic.
The chairman of the election-winning ANO movement, Slovak-born Andrej Babis, is to be the next Czech prime minister as President Milos Zeman entrusted him with talks on a new government.
Prague Mayor Adriana Krnacova (ANO) has also Slovak roots.
On the other hand, a number of Czech managers and athletes, such as ice-hockey players, work in Slovakia. Czechs are in the management of Slovak energy firms, for example.
Czechs make up the fifth strongest ethnic minority in Slovakia. In the latest census in 2011, 30,367 people claimed Czech nationality in Slovakia, which was a decrease by one-third in ten years.
In the Czech census of the same year, 149,140 people claimed Slovak nationality, which was 44,000 fewer that ten years earlier.
In the Czech Republic, Slovaks are represented in the government council for ethnic minorities. The Czech government and ministries subsidise the activities of Slovak associations as well as education in the Slovak language.
The annual report on the situation of minorities shows that the relations in the Slovak community escalated in 2013 and they have been worsening since then due to a dispute about the Slovak House in Prague centre. It was given to the Slovak-Czech Club, which other associations criticise as unjust support for one organisation only.
Number of Slovaks in Czech Republic and those with permanent residence:
Year Permanent Total
2007 24,444 67,880
2009 26,734 73,446
2011 31,071 81,253
2013 36,279 90,948
2015 41,739 101,589
2017* 46,818 110,672
*as of end-September
Source: Interior Ministry and foreigner police statistics.