Croatia to Move Temporary Refugee Centre from Opatovac to Slavonski Brod on 2 November

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Latest from the migrant crisis in Croatia.

“I understand Slovenians and their lack of preparation. They are behaving towards us the way we treated Serbia at the beginning of the refugee crisis, wanting to protect our interests. It is essential that agreed arrangements are being implemented in the field, because the influx of refugees is not being reduced”, Croatian interior minister Ranko Ostojić said yesterday during a visit to the winter transit centre in Slavonski Brod, reports Slobodna Dalmacija on October 28, 2015.

He added that Croatia has offered to Slovenia 50 police officers to regulate migration flows and some of the tents from Qatar’s donation. The technical checks of the new refugee centre will be carried out on 1 November, and a day after that the first refugees will arrive to Slavonski Brod. According to Ostojić’s words, the refugees will be registered in Šid in Serbia, from where the train will take them to Slavonski Brod. A few days after the opening of the new centre, it is expected that the centre in Opatovac will close.

“Forty days after the beginning of this crisis, nobody has seen one refugee on a road, there are no criminal acts or anything else which might jeopardize someone’s life”, Ostojić said. He added that it was important for hot spots in Greece to start functioning and that there must be no delay. When asked how much the new centre will costs and who will pay for it, he said taxpayers are still paying for it. “Croatia is using funds from the budget reserves, but we have been granted five million euros in emergency aid and we have access to European funds worth 70 million euros”, Ostojić added.

In the meantime, refugees and migrants are continuing to travel through Croatia. The third passenger train accompanied by Croatian police, with 1,185 migrants, arrived around 3 am at the Dobova border crossing. After police procedures, and after medical and humanitarian care was given to refugees at the border, the migrants were escorted by Slovenian police towards Šentilj border crossing with Austria. Croatian official have announced that another train with migrants will arrive at Dobova later in the morning.

According to the Slovenian police, at 5.30 am this morning, at the Brežice reception centre in Slovenia there were about 2,800 migrants, in temporary centre in Dobova about 1,800, and at the new reception centre in Dobova about 2,300 migrants.

On Monday from midnight to 9 pm, 4,871 migrants and refugees entered Croatia. There are currently 1,798 migrants at the Opatovac temporary reception centre. Since the beginning of the migration crisis, 266,265 migrants and refugees have entered Croatia.

The number of refugees will be significantly reduced in about ten days, after the elections in Turkey on 1 November and the agreement between Germany and Turkey, Croatian prime minister Zoran Milanović said yesterday. “We did everything to protect Croatia, but also to behave like humans and not to be hysterical. Germany would like us to keep people here for two to three weeks, but we cannot do that. We can keep them for a day or two, provided the other countries do the same”, he said.

“Some are bothered by the fact that we are too efficient, too fast, that we are providing care for people, feeding them, transporting them 300 kilometres to the west. Slovenia is in the same situation as Croatia, but we were not crying for help. We are organized, humane and better than others”, he said and added that in the past month and a half people could see how organized the government is, although there are some who are undermining it, mostly in Croatia. “Some were happy and wished for us to be overwhelmed by refugees. But, while I am the prime minister, and while there are ministers like Ranko Ostojić and Ante Kotromanović, that will not happen”, prime minister Milanović said.


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