zoran milanović.jpg
Photograph: HINA / Denis CERIĆ / mm

Prime Minister Zoran Milanovic said on Saturday that the draft document prepared for the EU summit on the migrant crisis, to be held in Brussels on Sunday, was flippant and entirely unrealistic, adding that he would not be assuming any obligations for Croatia on Sunday.

Milanovic told the press in Jastrebarsko that he had seen the draft document under which the countries on the so-called Balkan migratory route would no longer be allowed to transport refugees and migrants to neighbouring borders without prior agreement with their neighbours, adding that he was confident that such a document would not be adopted. Milanovic said he expected the European Union to resolve the problem where it had started, at the border between Turkey and Greece.

"Anything else is a waste of time," Milanovic said, adding that stopping the refugee wave at the Greece-Turkey border was the only realistic solution.

"I believe that that is realistic, maybe not at the moment, but it is realistic because it is the only right way, while any approach conceived in the head of some well-paid bureaucrat in Brussels, according to which people should stay at the place where they entered (the EU), cannot be implemented."

European countries that will gather in Brussels on Sunday could agree to stop transporting migrants to their neighbours' borders without previous consultations, reads the draft document prepared for the meeting and made available to the German FAZ daily which hit the newsstands on Saturday. The paper cited the AFP as saying that the said measure was one of the 16 proposals put forward by European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker.

Milanovic stressed he would not assume any obligations for Croatia in Brussels on Sunday, reiterating that Croatia would not become a hotspot.

He reiterated that the migrant entry in Greece should be stopped the way Spain was doing it, by an active multi-direction approach and involvement of the coast guard.

"If necessary, we will send a ship or two to the Greek-Turkish waters and others can send even more ships, and then we'll see how this problem can be resolved in a month or two without violence and drownings. It obviously suits someone for this to last this long," Milanovic said.

He added that Croatia would continue to treat refugees the same way as it had so far, adding that the migrant crisis in no way burdened the lives of Croatian citizens.

Asked if Croatia would do anything if Germany slows down the reception of refugees, which the said document indicates, Milanovic responded: "Neither will Germany slow down the reception this way nor will this document be adopted."

Commenting on Slovenia's accusations that Croatia was uncontrollably sending migrants to Slovenia, Milanovic said that Slovenia was looking for excuses for its handling of the migrant situation.

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