Slovenia to Keep Razor-Wire Fence on Border with Croatia

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Slovenia fears a possible new migrant wave.

Amid fears that the Balkan refugee route could again be reactivated, the Slovenian government has been implementing intensive activities in order to be well-prepared for possible developments, and that includes reconstruction of the razor-wire fence on its border with Croatia, reports Jutarnji List on August 16, 2016.

“We conduct coordination meetings at all levels, from the top of the government to the operational level”, confirmed an unnamed government official in charge of the refugee issue. He added that the government had a plan that envisaged a dozen possible scenarios, based on last year’s experience, when more than half a million refugees passed through Slovenia.

An asylum centre in Logatec will soon get new accommodation facilities for refugees and illegal migrants, and the Defence Ministry has ordered tents for temporary housing. Refugee centres in Dobova, Šentilj and Lendava, which last year took over the largest burden of refugees, are again ready to be put to use.

In recent weeks, Slovenia registered the arrival of several groups of illegal migrants. Some of them have been returned, while others have applied for asylum.

Slovenian authorities explain their preparations with the uncertainty concerning the agreement between the European Union and Turkey on keeping migrants in that country which borders Syria, especially after the attempted coup in Turkey and Erdogan’s rapprochement with Russia.

In preparation for the possible arrival of more migrants, the main role belongs to UNHCR representatives, while local volunteers and others who have helped in solving last year’s migrant crisis have been given notice that they “should assume that their services will again be needed during the autumn”.

“If Turkey lets several hundred thousand people across the border, all countries on the Balkan route will have a problem how to stop them”, said the unnamed official, adding that the situation was getting worse, not only due to 2.7 million Syrian refugees who are in Turkey, but also due to the escalation of violence in south-eastern Turkey between Kurds and the Turkish army.

For this reason, migrant wave could start moving towards Europe and Slovenia could be in danger of becoming a hot spot for illegal migrants because they will not be accepted by Austria or Germany.

“Cooperation on illegal migration with Croatia is much better than last year and we expect different behaviour than in the autumn of last year”, the official added. He pointed out that the razor-wire fence on parts of the border with Croatia would remain as a deterrent and a warning. Therefore, the wire is being reconstructed, and the terrain around it is being prepared.


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