The first train with 1,000 migrants and refugees arrived at the winter transit centre in the eastern Croatian town of Slavonski Brod around 7.30 am on Tuesday after entering the country earlier in the day, Minister of the Interior Ranko Ostojic said.
"These people arrived from Bapska at Tovarnik (easternmost Croatia) and directly from there they arrived here by train. We are closing Bapska today and ending the registration at Opatovac. After they are registered and receive food from the Red Cross, this group will continue their journey to Slovenia. They will continue their journey aboard the same Croatian Railways train they arrived on here, and meanwhile the train has been cleaned," Ostojic told a news conference in Slavonski Brod.
The news is that at this moment 1,000 people are boarding a train at Sid, Serbia, Ostojic said. There are still 2,000 people at the Opatovac reception centre and they will arrive in Slavonski Brod today, he said.
In case of congestion on the border, the winter reception centre in Slavonski Brod will be able to receive up to 5,000 people, said Ostojic.
He said that he expected the flow of migrants and refugees to be faster as of today given that the automated registration system has become fully operational.
After the last refugees in Opatovac arrive in Slavonski Brod, the centre at Opatovac will be closed, tents will be returned to the commodity stockpiles directorate, and the remaining equipment will be moved to Slavonski Brod, Ostojic said.
Asked by reporters how many migrants and refugees would leave Croatia today, he repeated that Germany accepted 6,500 people daily and that there was no reason why as many people should not continue their journey.
"At this moment, many more people are leaving Slovenia than are arriving in that country," Ostojic said, adding that the transport of refugees to Slovenia would proceed as usual but that that could change too, if so agreed.
Each train will transport around 1,000 refugees today, which is the number of people who the services of the countries along the migrant route can process without delays and problems, he said.
Around 400 members of police, army and people working on public infrastructure are currently involved in the reception of migrants and refugees, Ostojic said, adding that he expected that number to decrease given the closing of the Opatovac reception centre and the more efficient passage and registration of migrants and refugees.
Vukovar County Police Department spokesman Domagoj Dzigumovic said on Tuesday that 314,400 refugees and migrants fleeing war and poverty in the Middle East and Asia had passed through Croatia since mid-September.