Is Europe’s immigration front line coming to Croatia?
The wire fence on the border between Hungary and Serbia is getting longer every day, and the first few hundred metres of the wall that should stop illegal immigrants have already been built. The authorities in Budapest have said that the wall should be finished by the end of the year. In order to accomplish their goal, they have even hired prisoners to do some of the construction work. That fact that the wall is getting longer and that more immigrants are entering Serbia on their way to Hungary should be a matter of concern for the Croatian authorities, reports Vecernji List on August 17, 2015.
After the construction of the wire fence it is expected that a large number of migrants will turn towards Croatia in order to get to the countries of Western Europe. That will put large pressure on the so-called “green border” between Croatia and Serbia. It is a predominantly lowland area so the movement through these areas is not too demanding. On their way there would be the Spačva forest where they could hide if necessary. In addition, they could find drinking water and food on the local fields.
This view is shared by security expert Mate Laušić, who said that the most vulnerable areas are around Bajakovo and Tovarnik, the areas around the highway and railway line. “I think that the Interior Ministry and other services are aware of that and that certain preparations have already been undertaken. The border police is extremely well equipped in preparation for the entry into the Schengen Area”, said Laušić. There are numerous new thermal imaging cameras and other devices, vehicles, helicopters and other equipment. Therefore, Laušić believes that the police can close off the area and thus protect the state borders.
“I do not expect major problems. Croatia has an agreement with Serbia for immigrants to be deported to the country from which they came”, said Laušić. However, he pointed out that Croatia has to be very careful because it is possible that there could be terrorists hidden in the mass of migrants.
There are suggestions that Croatia should build a wire fence on its border with Serbia. That proposal was recently rejected by interior minister Ranko Ostojić, who said that Croatia does not plan to do that. He added that Croatian border services work very efficiently, which is proven by their results.
There are currently about 90,000 migrants in Serbia, and every day two thousand more are coming. Serbia will have to build more camps for asylum seekers because otherwise a humanitarian disaster could occur. Serbian authorities have announced that they will have to seek international assistance to cover the unplanned costs. Some rumors claim that in the coming months several million people could start their journey towards Western Europe.