Political tensions and accusations between Croatia and Slovenia increase with the migrant crisis.
From the Croatian-Serbian to the Slovenian-Austrian border, there are thousands of refugees who are waiting to enter into another country. So far, Croatia has accepted 222,501 refugees and migrants, and this morning there are about 1,500 new migrants waiting to enter the country, reports Index.hr and Vecernji List on October 23, 2015.
At the Šentilj border crossing between Slovenia and Austria, there are about 4,000 people waiting to cross into Austria which has closed its border during the night. It is expected that the Austrians will soon open the border, but only for about a thousand refugees. Others will have to wait. During the night, about 6,000 refugees entered Slovenia. About 4,000 of them have been accommodated at shelters in Brežice and Dobova.
Slovenian prime minister Miro Cerar criticized Croatia for refugee crisis and the large influx of people in Slovenia, saying that there was no cooperation and that Croatia was responsible. “They literally seek conflict. We are, of course, restrained, we know that we should not react to provocations. That is the reason why we are trying to calm things down and I think that we have been successful”, Cerar said yesterday in an interview with Slovenian television.
“The latest infamous record, which was caused by Croats, was almost 13,000 people who came in one day. It is the same as if Germany were to receive almost 500,000 people in one day”, Cerar said and praised the cooperation with Austria.
Slovenian prime minister added that he told his Croatian counterpart Zoran Milanović that he is acting irresponsibly and that this will have serious consequences. He added that the refugees are sent to Slovenia over rivers, instead of being treated humanely and in cooperation with Slovenia. “In short, I would say it is a non-European and dangerous behaviour, because it can cause conflicts”, Cerar said and added that both the Austrians and the European commissioner for migrants Dimitris Avramopoulos noted that Croatia is not behaving like it should.
The Opatovac temporary refugee centre in Croatia is currently empty. All migrants which were housed there left at 5am by buses towards the Slovenian border. It is expected that new refugees will arrive there soon.
Croatian interior minister Ranko Ostojić and Serbian interior minister Nebojša Stefanović will meet this morning at the Bajakovo border crossing, where they will discuss the refugee crisis.
About a hundred people gathered in Slavonski Brod yesterday to protest against the construction and opening of the winter transit refugee centre in that city. “You feed migrants, while Slavonia is starving”, “Parks to citizens, camps to migrants”, “Do not forget Tomislav Salopek” – those were some of the banners which protesters were carrying. One of the reasons cited was that the location of the camp is near a reservoir with 40 tons of ammonia, which a few years ago caused an incident.
They also noted that terrorists are hiding among the refugees. “Citizens of Slavonski Brod should decide for themselves what will happen in their town. No one is against refugees, but we cannot bring the working and military age migrants into the city, without citizens having a say what they think about it”, Mario Eržić said. The protesters say the decision to open a camp at the location is against all legal procedures. They wonder what will this mean for Slavonski Brod, if the influx of refugees is speeded up and their numbers increased?
“This is only the tip of the iceberg. Today, there are five thousand refugees, tomorrow there will be twice as much, but who knows how many thereafter. I am a student and this was supposed to be a university city, but has now become a hot-spot”, Hrvoje Macan, one of the organizers, said.