ZAGREB, March 2, 2020 – A very small number of migrants will manage to reach Europe, and tensions caused by this matter will decrease in the coming days, Croatian President Zoran Milanović said after meeting with his Austrian counterpart Alexander Van der Bellen in Vienna on Monday.
“It is precisely because of what we as Europe went through nearly five years ago and what has been done in the meantime that it is impossible for a refugee wave of that scope to occur again, it is simply physically impossible,” Milanović said, referring to 2015 when over a million refugees had arrived in Europe from the Middle East.
“What we are seeing is a political struggle and manipulating with people,” he said and added: “I dare predict that a very small number of people will manage to break through the barriers” and “tensions will calm down within a few days.”
Milanovic said that in 2015, when he was prime minister, “certain lessons had to be learnt”, and that today it was simply not true that migrants currently staying in Turkey were in danger. He noted that the rules of international humanitarian law needed to be respected.
Van der Bellen said that the border countries such as Greece and Bulgaria should not be left in the lurch in that regard, adding that he did not know what Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan actually wanted to achieve by opening the border to Europe for migrants.
Erdogan said in Ankara on Monday that European leaders were now calling him to discuss closing the border, but that it was too late for that now and that the path to Europe would remain open.
“There will be talks with Turkey to see what they actually want,” the Austrian president said, adding that Europe would continue to face the problem of illegal migration as long as the situation in Syria does not change.
More news about the migrant crisis can be found in the Politics section.