slovenija, granica, žica, ograda.jpg
Photograph: HINA / mm

Slovenia will resort to "extreme measures" to prevent uncontrolled arrivals of migrants in case the Balkan migration route is revived in the autumn, Interior Minister Vesna Gjerkes Znidar warned at a press conference in Ljubljana after a government meeting on Thursday.

The Slovenian government held its first meeting after the summer recess to discuss the fears of reopening of the Balkan migration route if the EU-Turkey agreement on holding refugees in camps in Turkey failed.

"The situation with migrants is currently peaceful, but I fear this is only a seeming lull," Znidar said. She warned that the European Union still did not have a common migration policy and that it was not clear whether the agreement with Turkey would function.

If migrants and refugees start arriving in large numbers as last year, Slovenia will be forced to take "extreme measures" to prevent the unwanted migrants from entering the country, the minister said.

Znidar said that a new law on foreigners was in a final stage of adoption and that it would enable the speedy return of illegal migrants to neighbouring countries. She said that the police had stepped up control on the border with Croatia and that the wire fence set up last year would remain in place indefinitely.

Znidar said that Slovenia did not want to risk becoming "a pocket" where a large number of migrants from Africa and the Middle East might get stuck on their way to destinations of their choosing in northern and western Europe.

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