Reactions to Croatia’s Decision to Possibly Send Army to Borders

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Croatian Interior Minister Vlaho Orepić said on Tuesday while talking about the refugee crisis and the possibility of opening a new Balkan route through Bosnia and Herzegovina that he did not believe that the new route would be opened. He praised Croatia’s cooperation with Slovenia and Serbia and confirmed that government was considering sending the army to the border, report and on March 2, 2016.

“At this time, we really have no basis to think about a possible refugee route through Bosnia and Herzegovina. I will not speculate on what might happen in the future. As far as the return of refugees is concerned, we are really cooperating in the right way with Slovenia and Serbia. Indeed, there are no problems in our cooperation”, said Orepić.

He confirmed that the government was thinking about sending the army to protect the border. “We will probably legally create such a possibility, but we will rely entirely on the police force. Slovenia and Serbia have already done it, so we will in some way increase our capacities, but that will be only a contingency plan”, said the minister.

Croatian People’s Party (HNS) president and former Foreign Minister Vesna Pusić believes that sending army to the border is not the right way to solve the refugee crisis. “If there is no war, the army has nothing to do at the border”, said Pusić. She believes that “Croatia’s way” should be to put pressure on the European Union and its institutions and that the refugee problem can be solved “in additional negotiations with Turkey”.

Pusić said that Turkey had made it clear that it had spent eight billion euros on refugees, which is obviously considered a rough amount which should be discussed. “The situation we have now, where people accumulate in Greece, is not a solution”, she concluded.

In the meantime, Croatia’s Centre for Peace Studies warned that wire fences and militarization cannot be the Croatian answer to the refugee crisis. Repression is not the answer for suffering of people, reminded the Centre and added that “Croatian answer to wires, fences and militarization which other countries have resorted to must be different. Let us show now that we are against the divisions. We cannot support a system that leads to complete dehumanization and is inducing fear and intolerance towards refugees”, warned the Centre and concluded: “Stop the wars, not the people!”


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