Amid Rumours, Croatian Interior Ministry Stops Publishing Data on Refugees

Total Croatia News

Migrant information no longer available on the website of the Ministry of the Interior.

During yesterday’s first official meeting of the new Croatian government, Interior Minister Vlaho Orepić singled out the migrant crisis as one of the most important issues for his Ministry. However, at the same time, the Interior Ministry has removed from its website data on the inflow of migrants to Croatia which used to be published several times a day since the beginning of the refugee crisis in September last year. The data enabled a transparent insight into the movement of migrants through Croatia, the number of migrants who entered Croatia every day and the number of migrants in the temporary refugee camp in Slavonski Brod, reports Vecernji List on January 29, 2016.

The Interior Ministry claims that they are not trying to hide anything and that the numbers of migrants are available on request, but that the interest in the refugee crisis is not as large as before. Minister Orepić yesterday did not give an answer why the data on immigrants has disappeared from his official website.

So far, Croatia has spent on migrants – more than 611,000 of them by yesterday morning – about 145 million kuna. The European Union granted 12.4 million euros to Croatia for migrants, but only 9.9 million euros have been withdrawn so far. The government yesterday approved the payment of 8.6 million kuna to the Interior Ministry, 2.9 million kuna to the State Directorate for Protection and Rescue, and 4.5 million kuna for the Ministry of Health. “Perhaps we will manage to arrange that migrants do not stop in Croatia at all, but that they just pass through it”, said Minister Orepić yesterday, but did not explain how would that work.

While the Croatian Interior Ministry claims there are no difficulties in the inflow of migrants to Croatia, some websites specialized for migrant issues have published information that Macedonia had closed its border with Greece because “Croatia said its camp was full” and could not accept more migrants. Serbian media reported that the reason for the closure of the Greek-Macedonian border on Wednesday afternoon was the “result of a chain reaction between Slovenia, Croatia and Serbia”.

Liza Bendevska, a spokeswoman for police in Skopje in Macedonia, did not want to comment on rumours. She said that the border was temporarily closed because there were too many migrants there. There are rumours in Turkey that the EU will close its border and that this is the last opportunity for migrants and refugees to go to the West. That is the reason why panicked migrants are moving towards Greece while the Turkish and Greek coast guards are not even trying to stop them.


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