Slovenia to Keep Fence on Border with Croatia

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Slovenian Interior Minister does not think that the wire fence should be removed.

Slovenian Interior Minister Vesna Gjerkeš Žnidar said on Thursday that she believed Slovenia was still threatened by a possible large-scale migration wave, although Slovenian President Borut Pahor said earlier that his country should consider removing wire fence on the border with Croatia, reports on December 29, 2016.

After a recent visit to Turkey, where he met with President Tayyip Erdogan and discussed the situation in the Middle East and migration issues, Pahor said he had received information that at the moment Slovenia was not in danger of a repetition of last year’s migration wave through the so-called Balkan route.

In this context, he suggested to the Slovenian government to start thinking about removing the wire fence on the border towards Croatia, set up last autumn at the height of the migration crisis when more than half a million people passed through the country on their way to Austria, Germany and the Scandinavian countries. He said that the removal of the fence would be a sign of strengthening confidence with regards to Croatia and would reflect better cooperation between countries in the region in controlling migration.

However, Slovenian Interior Minister said that she did not have information that the migration wave should not be expected. “I think that certain information does not exist, but we all hope there will be no new migrant crisis”, said the Minister, adding that the President’s statement should be understood in this context. There is still a lot of uncertainty around potential migration wave, since trouble spots still exist, said the Minister, adding that risk factors are still present.

Since Austria does not intend to admit a large number of refugees and is carrying out border controls, Slovenia must act in a similar manner, said the Minister, suggesting that physical barriers on the border with Croatia would remain, despite occasional dissatisfaction of local residents.

“When you ask people who have experienced last year’s migration wave, when as many as 12,000 migrants entered Slovenia daily, then their position towards the fence is certainly different compared to those who have not experienced it. This is a temporary measure that is in the interest of safety, and Croatia agrees with that”, said Gjerkeš Žnidar.

According to the Slovenian Interior Ministry, Slovenia has raised a total of 187 kilometres of “technical barriers” on its border with Croatia.


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