zoran milanović.jpg
Photograph: HINA/ Daniel KASAP / dk

Croatian Prime Minister Zoran Milanovic commented on Friday on Slovenian PM Miro Cerar's accusation that Croatia was behaving in a non-European fashion in the migrant crisis and that there was no communication about the migrants between the two countries, saying they spoke 50 times over the past eight weeks, "always with this situation before our eyes and the possibility of something like this happening."

"Croatia is dealing with the migrants a bit routinely already. 220,000 people have passed through Croatia and no one has seen them," he told reporters in Labin. "Our people live peacefully and relaxed, minding their own business. I'm surprised that Slovenia hasn't prepared for this, and I won't say it's behaving in a non-European fashion because I don't know what that means, and that it couldn't have behaved more rationally."

He said Slovenia could not enforce a strict Schengen policy in these circumstances and neither could Germany. "I don't know what they're doing. They should let the people pass, they should set up a refugee centre like Croatia did. They should send their officers if they want to start recording (migrants) in the train which leaves Croatia's eastern border for Slovenia and travels ten hours. We offered numerous possibilities to additionally calm this relatively controlled situation."

Milanovic said he was surprised, after all that, by stories about non-European behaviour. He said the migrant and refugee problem began in Greece, a member of the Schengen Area. He said "6,000 people come to Croatia who can stay for a while and then have to move on."

"Yesterday 6,000 people passed through Croatia and ended up in Slovenia, so I don't understand these stories about 10,000 people. They didn't come from Croatia. Much ado about nothing. Slovenia has been in this situation five days. It's simpler for them because the route is much shorter. Croatia is transporting people for 300 km, Slovenia only 30-40 km. We don't want to haggle and fight over a problem for which neither we nor they are responsible. What's up with all this petty nervousness?" 

Milanovic said he had invested a lot of time in communication with the Slovenians, the Austrians and German Chancellor Angela Merkel. "They are causing problems. You haven't heard Austria claim that Croatia is behaving in a non-European fashion."

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