Slovenia Accepting Refugees, Croatian President and Government Conflict Reaches New Level

Total Croatia News

Migrant crisis moves to the Slovenian border, as Croatia’s President and Prime Minister grow further apart.

Hungary closed its border towards Croatia for refugees on Saturday morning, after which Croatia started applying the so-called Plan C, which provides for the refugees to be transferred by trains and buses to Slovenia. During the day, the refugees were being transported to Čakovec near the Slovenian border, from where there were taken to Slovenia. Last night, the 95th refugee train transported refugees from Tovarnik to Čakovec. At 7.30 am this morning, the train was still at the Čakovec train station waiting for the Slovenian locomotive to come, reports Vecernji List and Jutarnji List on October 18, 2015.

State secretary in the Slovenian Interior Ministry Bostjan Šefic said yesterday that Croatia has informed Slovenia that a train will be coming in the morning, but that Slovenia will not accept new refugees until all the refugees which had already arrived are registered and until their numbers in Slovenia are reduced. He pointed out that the Slovenian Government had made a decision that it would accept between 2000 to 2500 refugees a day. “We want to have control over the refugee flow, so Slovenia will receive as many of them as can be processed. They will be transferred to Austria, which is the country on which this whole process depends the most”, Šefic said.

After yesterday’s meeting of the National Security Council, Slovenian prime minister Miro Cerar said that Slovenia is a transit country, and that if the countries which are ultimate destinations for refugees introduce stricter rules, Slovenia will have to do the same. The Slovenian government has also announced that the Slovenian army will assist the police in guarding its borders. “We will protect our Schengen borders”, Cerar said.

“The situation with the influx of refugees from Serbia and transport to Slovenia is gradually normalizing after Hungary decided not to accept any more refugees”, said yesterday in Opatovac Croatian interior minister Ranko Ostojić. He also commented on the recent statement by Croatian president Kolinda Grabar-Kitarović that refugees should be accepted only at the official border crossings. He said that the government does not have anything against it, but that the president can easily arrange that with her friends from Serbia.

President Grabar Kitarović, who is in official visit to China, responded to the interior minister via Facebook. “With his today’s statement, minister Ostojić admitted that this caretaker government is not able to lead the country and that they are transferring their executive powers to me. I will take them over as soon as the Constitution allows me.”

During the evening, Ostojić responded to president’s message: “At first, I thought someone hacked her Facebook profile. These are very dangerous messages that the president should refrain from making”, said the interior minister. “It is not fair to put a knife into the back of people who are doing good work and who are taking care of refugees for as many as 12 hours a day.”

Foreign minister Vesna Pusić said that the president’s message was surreal and not serious. “If there is no war, and we do not want to go there, there are no circumstances under which the president can take over executive powers”, said Pusić. “You do not have to be the prime minister to know that this is absolutely impossible. I understand political passions, but it is not appropriate for someone who is president of a country to send messages like this to the public, messages which do not have anything to do with the Constitution or with common sense”, Pusić said.

From midnight to 9 pm on Saturday, 6,162 migrants entered Croatia. At the temporary reception centre in Opatovac there are currently 2,850 migrants. Since the beginning of the migration crisis in the region, a total of 192,529 migrants and refugees have entered Croatia.


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