Southern Croatia prepares for another possible migrant route.
In the far south of Croatia, at the Prevlaka peninsula, silence is no more. Starting from Friday, sounds of lawnmowers, cars and emergency vehicles of fire-fighters and police can be heard. Everybody is busy and preparing for a possible “emergency”, reports Slobodna Dalmacija on September 27, 2015. The night before, a meeting was organized with the leadership of the National Protection and Rescue Administration, the Dubrovnik police and the fire-fighters from the Konavle area. An order has been issued to clear the area around the buildings on the Prevlaka peninsula.
The plans reportedly call for tents to be set up there. “We also expect to receive tanks with water, because there is no water supply here, as well as portable toilets. The refugees may or may not come here. That is all we know at the moment”, says one of the workers. Asked what he thinks about the possible arrival of thousands of refugees to the Prevlaka peninsula, the man from Konavle says: “My family was also driven from its home, but I stayed to defend my land. We should welcome them, I am sorry for anyone who is going through a war, but it would be good for them to then go somewhere else, where they will have better living conditions.”
According to unofficial sources, the emergency services still have no indication that refugees will indeed come to the Croatian south. However, the route via Montenegro is one of those possible with the arrival of winter months. The well-informed man from Konavle is convinced that the preparations will not be in vain and that the peninsula next to the Montenegrin border will be settled by migrants from Syria, Afghanistan, Iraq… only temporarily, he hopes. “Hungary is closing its borders, Serbia will direct them to Montenegro, and Montenegro to Croatia”, he believes.
On the Prevlaka peninsula, there are a number of facilities of the former Yugoslav Army, large hangars and a fortress from the times of the Austro-Hungarian Empire, facilities which can receive and accommodate a large number of people. For now, just the area around the facilities is being cleared. Since it is a peninsula, the movement is limited and entry and exit are easy to control.
Until recently, the plans called for a tourist complex to be built on Prevlaka, or at least a campsite, but it is certain that those plans will be postponed. Especially if refugees do arrive, which we will discover very soon.