Ostojić: Croatia May Already Be A ‘Migrant Hotspot’

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June 14, 2018 — Croatia’s former Interior Minister Rank Ostojic claims there’s no doubt the country is in throes of another migrant crisis, already becoming a “hotspot.”

The growing crisis along Bosnia’s borders may literally hit Croatia’s shores, said to former Interior Minister Ranko Ostojic according to Jutarnji List, claiming Croatia has already become a “migrant hotspot”, despite claims to the contrary.

The increasing threat of border-closing measures such a razor wire fences and quick deportations will force people to use alternative means. The MP pointed to another potential problem on the horizon: migrants forgoing land, reaching Dalmatia by boat.

“Centers for temporary admission for asylum seekers are overwhelmed,” he said, claiming migrants abuse the asylum-seeking system to continue their journey, only to be returned.

The same system demands they be returned to the first nation where they sought asylum — hence the crisis. The migrants, he said, are coming from all sides.

Croatia was at the fulcrum of the 2015 migrant crisis, after Hungary effectively closed its border with razor wire then instituted hefty prison sentences for anyone crossing the border.

Thousands of asylum-seekers from the Middle East and Africa began reaching the Croatia via Serbia, only to be met by overwhelmed local authorities who did their best to shuttle the mass of humanity onward on its journey towards northern Europe.

The snail-slow asylum process in Croatia, as present now as it was three years ago, also complicates matters. A typical hearing lasts six months, Ostojic said, by which time most of the asylum applicants have fled.

The Center for Peace Studies said uneven enforcement of rules and processes has left some countries shouldering the burden of the migrant crisis more than others.

“Rather than leaders strategizing and managing the conditions for a dignified life for all, they turn to short-lived moves, and so the “transformation” of certain countries into so-called ‘hotspots,’” the Center’s Julia Kranjec said.

The issue has worsened since Bosnia has begun experiencing a veritable wave of new arrivals, coming along a new “Balkan Route from Greece, through Macedonia, Kosovo, and Montenegro. Others have reportedly been sent over from Serbia, which has seen an influx of Iranian migrants ever since the countries agreed to visa-free travel.

“Since Bosnia and Herzegovina itself can not deal with this problem, Croatia should, together with other EU members, do everything to make these centers in Bosnia orderly, so that the migration wave would not overflow,” Ostojic said.

He went on to suggest the EU could solve the problem by addressing its source, in Turkey, which reached an agreement with the bloc in 2016 in exchange for 3 billion euros.

The same approach should be repeated, Ostojic claimed, as natural barriers such as mountains and hillsides cannot stop the wave of humanity crossing Europe once more.


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