Miro Cerar.jpg
Photograph: HINA/ Slavko VUKADIN/ ua

Slovenia is a safe country and citizens need not be afraid of migrants, Prime Minister Miro Cerar said on Saturday in response to protests held in recent weeks at a number of locations where the government planned to open transitional migrant centres.

The last such protest was held in Sencur near Kranj earlier in the day as thousands of people carrying state flags and banners demanded the government scrap its plan to open a migrant centre there.

"Slovenia is a state with a high degree of security and citizens need not be afraid of migrants. Naturally, we will have to temporarily accommodate some of them somewhere so that they can continue on their way," Cerar told national television, adding that the police and the army cooperated well in handling the migrant wave and that cooperation with neighbouring states and those on the Balkan migrant route was very good.

"We need facilities for the temporary accommodation of migrants. We are discussing that with local authorities and I believe we will reach an agreement," Cerar said, adding that people's fear was perhaps understandable given the incidents which had occurred in Germany, but said that such incidents would not occur in Slovenia.

Talking about a recent European Union summit, Cerar said he was pressured so that Slovenia would scrap the migrant reception restrictions it had announced in the wake of Austria's restrictions, but that he refused.

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