Croatia to Fulfil Its Obligations and Prepare Temporary Accommodation for 5,000 Refugees

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The latest from the migrant crisis in Croatia.

Croatia is prepared and will increase its capacities for temporary shelter of immigrants, as has been agreed at Sunday’s meeting of heads of governments on the so-called Western Balkan Route in Brussels. It will soon be able to accommodate 5,000 people. It should be noted that these are not centres for long-term stay, but just places where the people will be able to rest and recover, and continue within 24 hours, reports Vecernji List on October 30, 2015.

Increasing accommodation capacities is an obligation for all countries, and yesterday afternoon the cooperation coordinators have discussed the issue. “Our commitment is to increase the temporary capacities and we have prepared that. Until now, we have had capacity for 4,000 people in transit, now we’ll have 5,000, in heated buildings and tents. So far, we have moved people further within 12 hours, but with heated conditions we can work with 5,000 people who will stay up to 24 hours”, Croatian interior minister Ranko Ostojić said.

From midnight to 9 pm on Thursday, 5,847 migrants and refugees entered Croatia. At the temporary reception centre in Opatovac, there are currently about a thousand people. Since the beginning of the migration crisis, 279,830 migrants and refugees have entered Croatia.

The European Commission has announced that Austria has committed to make available facilities for 5,000 people, Serbia 3,000, and Slovenia 2,000. Hungary has decided against increasing accommodation capacities. They said that “they are just observers” and that their capacities are already full.

The increase of capacity was one of the commitments taken at Sunday’s summit. The European Commission reiterated that it hopes to find 50,000 places along the immigrant route, while Greece should accept another 50,000 people. Greece will thus become the only hot-spot. The plan is for migrants to be kept there for a while, but not as a permanent accommodation. Some of the immigrants should be returned to their countries of origin while those whose asylum requests will be approved should be distributed among EU countries.

Currently, the worst situation is in Slovenia. Humanitarian organizations have warned Slovenian prime minister Miro Cerar that camps do not meet the minimum standards and are threatening to report Slovenia to the European Court of Human Rights. The Slovenian government announced on Thursday the possibility of tightening border control measures for refugees if the situation is further worsened. It did not specify what kind of measures could be introduced.

Slovenian interior minister Vesna Žnidar confirmed that Slovenia is trying to limit the migrant flow to the north, and stressed that Slovenia respects the Schengen rules of registration of potential asylum seekers, although other members of the EU are not doing that. She supported ighter control of the refugee wave at the source, as well as in Greece and Italy.

The head of the German police Holger Muench said that the uncontrolled flow of refugees to the country poses a threat to internal security, due to the fact that only on Wednesday around 8,000 people arrived to Bavaria over the Austrian border. Germany is trying to cope with the influx of approximately 800,000 to one million migrants this year, many of whom are from the war-torn areas of the Middle East, and officials openly worry about the potential strengthening of the radical right among Germans. “The security situation is getting worse with the increase in the numbers of refugees entering the country”, Muench said.

Concerns about the way Germany deals with the influx of refugees have reduced the support of German chancellor Angela Merkel’s conservatives and has caused strife with its sister party, the Christian Democratic Union, which is in power in Bavaria.


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