Slovenia formally allows army to police border and control migrants

Slovenia's army is now empowered to help police the country's border with Croatia after a late-night parliamentary vote, the STA news agency reported, part of continuing efforts to control the flow of migrants hoping to cross through the country.

Little practical impact is expected as a consequence of the vote, as the army has been patrolling the border since last week. No additional deployment is planned. But the vote means soldiers are now authorized to exercise policing powers for the next three months

The vote, held shortly before midnight (2300 GMT Monday) after nine hours of debate, went 69-5 with the support of the main opposition parties.

Close to 500,000 potential asylum seekers have passed through Slovenia since mid-2015, as it became a key part of the Balkan migration route for refugees who hope to reach richer parts of Europe.

With neighbouring Austria limiting the number of asylum seekers and people it allows to pass to Germany, Slovenia and other countries on the route are also taking steps to block the migrants and reduce the risk of having people stranded on its territory.

Last update: Tue, 23/02/2016 - 10:50

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