The Slovenia Times

Slovenia Admits Some 1,500 Refugees, Some Proceed to Austria


According to Interior Ministry State Secretary Boštjan Šefic, 1,500 migrants have so far arrived in Slovenia, of which one third from Syria and another from Afghanistan, while 150 people came from Iraq.

The border crossing Gruškovje near Brežice was the busiest entry point from Croatia, from where the refugees were taken by buses to various reception and accommodation centres in Slovenia and provided medical care, food and water.

However, the railway link between Zagreb and Ljubljana remains closed as the situation could change quickly. Šefic said that the ministry was not able to verify the information that 80,000 migrants will reach the Serbian-Croatian border on Sunday.

Meanwhile, a group of around 250 refugees who were accommodated in Maribor and Lenart arrived on foot at the Šentilj border crossing with Austria in the afternoon.

The refugees who arrived at the border crossing said they were coming from Syria, Iraq and Afghanistan, and were destined for Germany or Scandinavian countries.

While more people are expected to arrive and try to enter Austria, the Austrian authorities intend to send them back as they have failed to ask for asylum in Croatia or Slovenia.

Another 900 refugees are meanwhile still waiting to enter Slovenia from Croatia at the Obrežje and Rigonce border crossings.

The police said it had recorded a total of 1,287 illegal crossings of the national border by Friday midnight as the refugees from the Middle East started arriving in Slovenia. Most of the people who crossed the border illegally were citizens of Afghanistan (483) and Syria (470).

The biggest number of illegal crossings of border was recorded at Obrežje (1,050), followed by Dobova (150), Brežice (84) and Lendava (3).

Prime Minister Miro Cerar visited today the reception centre for refugees in Brežice, in the area where the vast majority of the refugees have entered the country in the past two days.

He criticised Croatia for "not doing its job" with regard to refugees, but he stressed that Slovenia had the situation "under control" and would let in refugees in an orderly and controlled manner.

Cerar pointed out that Slovenia was "not closing its borders", though it still had to direct the flow of people "in a controlled way" to their desired destinations.

President Borut Pahor meanwhile discussed the refugees crisis over the phone with UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon, with the pair sharing a view that the crisis "calls for an immediate joint European and international response".


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