Slovenia to build ‘obstacles’ for migrants

EU member Slovenia plans to build “obstacles” on its border with Croatia in advance of an expected new spike in migrants bound for northern Europe this week.

But Prime Minister Miro Cerar, whose country last month found itself on the main Balkans route for thousands of migrants after Hungary sealed its southern borders, insisted that its frontier would remain open.

“We decided yesterday to start building over the following days on the Schengen border with Croatia some temporary technical obstacles,” Cerar said Tuesday in the capital, Ljubljana.

“These obstacles, including fences if needed, will have the objective of directing migrants towards the border crossings.  We are not closing our borders,” he said.

Cerar said at this moment, “about 30,000 immigrants are on their way toward Slovenia” and that “a big number” of them could be stranded in the small Alpine state if neighboring Austria restricts its flow to an average of 6,000 a day.

An increased surge of migrants is expected across the Balkans as thousands were stranded in Greece last week due to a ferry strike that prevented many from leaving Greek islands that were their first destination after a perilous sea crossing from Turkey.

Slovenia had been a staunch critic of fences between EU countries.

More than 170,000 migrants and refugees from the Middle East, Asia and Africa have crossed Slovenia since mid-October when Hungary closed its southern border with Croatia and effectively forced migrants to cross Slovenia to reach Austria.


(Photo: UNHCR)