Slovenia to set up barriers on Croatian border to control migrant influx, says PM

Slovenia will soon put up technical obstacles, including fences, at certain points along its border with Croatia, which is also the Schengen border, to better control the refugee flow which recently resumed from Greece, Prime Minister Miro Cerar told reporters on Tuesday.

"By doing that, we want those people directed towards the entry points on the border. I want to stress that, by doing that, Slovenia is not closing its borders, only preventing the uncontrolled entry of migrants into our territory," Cerar said.

He said he had contacted Croatian PM Zoran Milanovic about it and that the controlled and arranged transit of migrants by train across Slovenia would continue.

Cerar said that he as a person did not want fences and obstacles on the border, but that as prime minister he had the duty to prevent a "humanitarian disaster" which could happen if large numbers of refugees and migrants continued to cross Slovenia and if they were to cross the green border during the coming winter.

He recalled that Slovenia had a population of only two million and that the current migration volume was too much for it, making it necessary to better control and limit it, notably following the information that Austria would limit the daily intake of migrants to 6,000 and the fact that tens of thousands of migrants coming from Greece could reach Slovenia on Wednesday or Thursday.

"I can't allow a humanitarian disaster on our territory. Because of that, because of the protection of Slovenian citizens and because we are the guardians of the Schengen border, we have adopted a decision on the temporary placement of technical barriers and fences, but the border remains open," Cerar said.

Slovenian Interior Minister Vesna Gjerkes Znidar said that, like Austria, Germany too was set to allow the entry of only 6,000 migrants daily. She said there was no systematic European solution to the refugee crisis and that the refugee influx into Slovenia remained higher than the outflow, which had forced Slovenia to react.

"It's necessary to do everything to prevent a dispersed spillover of refugees across the European Union. That's why we must control the influx of migrants," she said.

Cerar said that despite the migrant restrictions Slovenia would impose along its border with Croatia, Slovenia would remain "humanitarian and show solidarity" with other EU countries in dealing with the refugee crisis.

He would not specify when the placement of technical barriers and fences on the Croatian border would begin. The media, however, say this could happen on Wednesday and that about 100 police officers from other countries, mainly from the Visegrad Group, would help Slovenian police control the Schengen border.

Last update: Tue, 08/12/2015 - 12:33

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