tomislav karamarko, hdz.jpg
Photograph: HINA/ Daniel KASAP/ dk

First Deputy Prime Minister Tomislav Karamarko said on Saturday that Croatia would not be a "dead end" in the current migrant crisis and that it would act the same way as the rest of Europe.

"We must behave as Europe does. In any case, this is up to Germany, and the question is how many more people Germany can accept. Everything depends on that. We can see that the (reception) criteria are becoming stricter, so Croatia will have to tighten those criteria accordingly," Karamarko told reporters after the first working meeting of the new government.

When asked if Croatia would put up a wire fence on its border the way Slovenia did, Karamarko said that Croatia would behave the way Europe behaved but that it would not allow to become a dead end.

"Slovenia is part of Europe and some things evidently need to be agreed with Slovenia. In any case, we will not allow to become a dead end."

Asked if that meant putting up a wire fence, Karamarko repeated: "We will not allow to become a dead end. A decision will be made on how it will be done... I am not sure about the technical details, they will depend on what we will agree with our allies."

He said that Minister of the Interior Vlaho Orepic would most probably travel to Amsterdam on Monday for a meeting with his European colleagues on the issue of migrants and to restore communication with Brussels and neighbouring countries.

EU ministers of the interior will hold an informal meeting in Amsterdam on Monday to discuss, among other things, the possibility of extending temporary border checks within the Schengen area of passport-free travel.

Border checks within the Schengen area may be temporarily introduced in the case of security threats and extraordinary situations and may remain in force for up to three months, with the possibility of being extended. However, in all such cases of unilateral action, members of the Schengen area must report this to the European Commission and to other member-countries and state the reasons for the introduction of border checks.

Germany wants to extend border checks to up to two years and in order to do so, it needs to prove that there are permanent shortcomings on the external borders of the Schengen area.

That possibility exists and the Commission is prepared to use that mechanism if necessary, but it has not been activated yet because we are currently not in that situation, EC spokeswoman Natasha Bertaud said, adding that the ministerial meeting on Monday would focus on what should be done when the deadline for the temporary suspension of the Schengen area expires.

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