The Slovenian government has spent a little under EUR 33 million for the temporary accommodation and care for close to the 480,000 refugees and migrants who have passed through its territory and their transport from the Croatian to the Austrian border, Prime Minister Miro Cerar said on Monday, stressing that Slovenia had received substantial European funds and donations for that purpose.
Speaking in parliament, he dismissed the opposition's claims that the actual costs were much higher and that his figures did not match those which the Finance Ministry announced late last year when refugees and migrants began crossing Slovenia.
Cerar said the European Commission had allocated Slovenia EUR 10.2 million to deal with refugees and migrants, the UNHCR gave EUR 3.6 million and the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development EUR 1.5 million. He added that funds also came from companies and private donors as well as under bilateral agreements with other countries.
Opposition MPs accused Cerar of hiding the real figures and said the migrant flow must be stopped. Vinko Gorenak of the Slovenian Democratic Party said every migrant cost Slovenia over 800 euros and that the monthly costs for a person waiting for its asylum application to be decided on amounted to 1,350 euros.
Cerar said that these figures were exaggerated and that the monthly costs of a foreigner awaiting the completion of the asylum procedure at the Postojna transit centre were 386 euros, plus 18 euros pocket money.
He also dismissed the centre-right opposition's claims that migrants posed a security threat, saying security at accommodation centres had been stepped up and that there were very few refugees and migrants in Slovenia now and that only a few had applied for asylum because Slovenia was not their target destination.