Refugees in Slovenia face long waits, short-tempered police

A battered train painted with graffiti stops about a kilometer before the Austrian border. There is no train station, no platform. But about 500 people, mostly from Afghanistan, Syria and Iran, literally jump out of the train.

They are in Slovenia and this is their last stop before asylum. They’ve spent the night in a half-heated tent on the other side of the country, not far from the Croatian border. It’s -6 degrees and snowing.

Last summer, migrants were greeted with applause, smiles and cheerful greetings. Now, with more than a million people passing through, the families are ushered along by border police and army personnel who shiver on the sidelines and do not smile.

Children who had been waving from the train windows wait for parents to help them hop down. There are a lot of happy shouts and smiles. Thrilled for the latest four-hour train ride to be over, the kids run in circles as parents gather bags. Within five minutes, the train is empty but for one family.

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(Photo: DW/A Langley)