The decision to close the Balkan migrant route is an act of political, moral and legal capitulation of the European Union and proof that the policy "out of sight, out of mind" is stronger than any rule of law or international commitment, activists of the "Welcome" and "Are You Serious" civil society groups and the Centre for Peace Studies said at a gathering outside the government offices in Zagreb's St. Mark Square on Wednesday.
That political, moral and legal capitulation was joined quickly last night by Slovenia, Serbia and Croatia, whereby our country and the whole of Europe have betrayed refugees and all their citizens and public services who over the past months demonstrated solidarity with people fleeing war, Marina Skrabalo of the Welcome group said.
With its decision, the EU and all countries on the Balkan migrant route have given the green light to people smugglers, Skrabalo said.
Asija Korbat of the civil society group Are You Syrious said that according to their information, smugglers were already touring camps on the Greek-Macedonian border, offering transportation for EUR 2,500.
Closing the Balkan route does not solve the refugee crisis but only raises a wall to deter those wishing to reach Europe, said Gordan Bosanac of the Centre for Peace Studies.
The Croatian prime minister should be asked what Croatia will do and what it has done to stop the war in Syria, and to not strengthen the Turkish government, which violates its citizens' human rights, Bosanac said, adding that Croatia had joined in a campaign to militarise the Balkan route.
Bosanac said that a peaceful protest against the closing of borders to refugees would be held outside the government offices at 6pm on Friday and called on all citizens who have shown solidarity and humanism to join them.