ranko ostojic migranti slavonski brod.jpg
Photograph: HINA / mm

The first train with 1,000 refugees from the camp at Opatovac will arrive at the provisional winter transit centre for migrants at Slavonski Brod at 8 am on Tuesday and groups of 1,000 refugees each are expected to start arriving as of Wednesday from Sid, Serbia where they will be registered by Serbian police and members of Frontex, including Croatian police, Croatian Interior Minister Ranko Ostojic said on Monday.

So far 305,000 people have entered Croatia and the inflow has not diminished, with 9,500 people entering over the past 24 hours, he told reporters in Slavonski Brod. "We think the reason are some announcements that borders will be closed and the election in Turkey. Everything has proceeded without incident, the flow towards Slovenia and Austria is functioning normally, and Croatia is meeting the commitments agreed by European Union leaders."

He expects President Recep Tayyip Erdogan's election victory in Turkey will automatically activate an agreement between Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu and German Chancellor Angela Merkel on the opening of hot spots in Turkey. The increased flow in recent days is the result of refugees' attempt to avoid the hot spots in Turkey and reach Europe as soon as possible, Ostojic said.

He estimated that trains with up to 1,000 refugees each would be arriving at least six or seven times every day from Sid. "The transit through Croatia will stay at the level we've had so far, which means a minimum 6,000 people exiting and entering Croatia."

Asked what would happen to people who, in case of a stoppage, could not exit Croatia, Ostojic said Germany received about 6,500 people daily at five border crossings with Austria, about 50 people an hour. Based on that, there should be no stoppages if everyone complies with the arrangement, he said.

"At this moment, more people are exiting Slovenia than entering... I expect all the countries along the route to be prepared so that, in an emergency... we can align the number of people going towards the border," Ostojic said.

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