SHAFAQNA -Â Country will refuse entry to Muslims among quota of 200 migrants, on grounds that country has “no mosques”, as German mayor threatens to seize private homes to house asylum seekers.
Slovakia has said it will not accept any Muslims under an EU scheme to share migrants more evenly between member states.
â€œWe want to help Europe with the migration issue. We could take 800 Muslims but we don’t have any mosques in Slovakia so how can Muslims be integrated if they are not going to like it here?â€ Ivan Metik, an interior ministry spokesman, said.
Slovakia is to host 200 migrants under an EU plan to redistribute 40,000 away from Italy and Greece, which areÂ overwhelmed with the numbers arriving across the Mediterranean.
The Slovakian government said it plans to ask the migrants their religion on arrival.
The European Commission expressed its displeasure at the Slovakian plans. â€œWe act here in the spirit of the treaty, which prevents any form of discrimination,â€ Annika Breidthardt, a spokesman, said.
While it is legal to prioritise Christians who are at extra risk of persecution because of their religion, turning away Muslims because there are no mosques would be discriminatory and of dubious legality, according to one EU source.
The number of migrants registered at the EUâ€™s borders more than tripled in July to 107,500 compared to the same month last year, according to figures released by Frontex, the EU agency.
ItÂ passed the record 100,000 in a single month for the first time since the EU’s border control agency began keeping records in 2008.
The row came as a mayor inÂ Germany threatened to use emergency powers to seize empty private homes in order to house asylum-seekers.
Boris Palmer, the Green Party mayor of TÃ¼bingen, told Welt newspaper the town was struggling to find accommodation for migrants.
â€œThe Police Law has clear rules. If there is a threat of homelessness in a city, vacant houses can be seized for accommodation,â€ Mr Palmer said.
â€œAnd this emergency can happen when shelters are overcrowded and on some days 50 refugees are still arriving at a time, as they are now in TÃ¼bingen.â€
Mr Palmer said he was currently in talks with landlords over renting or buying empty properties from them, but that if the talks failed he would have no choice but to seize the buildings.
Germany takes in by far the most migrants of any EU member state. The government this week raised its forecast of the number it expects to host in 2015 to at least 650,000, and possibly as many as 750,000.
Several German states have asked former civil servants to come out of retirement to help process the massive backlog of asylum cases.
More than 300 have reported back for work in North Rhine-Westphalia, and 120 in Hesse.
Lower Saxony has even asked retired police officers to return to duty to help cope with the crisis.
In Austria, the interior ministry has published an open letter calling on citizens to help find accommodation for migrants.
â€œIn finding accommodation for refugees, the federal state is at the limit of its capability and we therefore need the help of each and every individual,â€ the letter, signed by â€œthe employees of the interior ministryâ€, read.
The Austrian government is facing protests over a proposed new law that will give it the power to force towns and communities to take in asylum seekers against their will.
The country is threatening a lawsuit over EU regulations that asylum seekers must stay in the first country where they register, saying it is being forced to take in more than its share.
Austria expects to host 80,000 asylum seekers this year â€“ twice as many as originally expected.
â€œNow is not the time to take each other to court. Now is the time to show solidarity,â€ Ms Breidthardt, the European Commission spokesman, said.