The Slovenia Times

Govt opts for measures ahead of anticipated migration surge


New measures are planned as the country expects to face a new uptick in refugee arrivals in the coming days. There was no details available on these measures, with Prime Minister Miro Cerar due to hold a press conference on Tuesday morning.

A statement from the Government Communication Office said only that the cabinet set the basis for the use of "enhanced measures" in response to the crisis.

The measures would be employed "in the coming days" due to "a high likelihood that Slovenia will shortly face a number of refugees and migrants so large that it would be difficult to manage".

The measures would include those "pertaining to the protection of the Schengen border", according to the statement.

Coming out of the cabinet meeting, Deputy Prime Minister Dejan Židan said that detailed decisions will not yet be revealed to the public because part of the debate had been classified.

He said that "two decisions" had been taken and announced that Cerar will hold a press conference tomorrow to present more details.

The focus in recent days has been on the possibility of the use of a fence on the border with Croatia to manage the flow.

At least one government official confirmed this was one of the subjects of today's session.

Interior Minister Vesna Györkös Žnidar said earlier in the day that government could opt for the use of "technical measures" and that the fence could be put up in key sections of the border within days.

"This could happen. But I cannot say this with certainty because it depends on other [coalition] partners," said Györkös Žnidar following a meeting of EU home ministers in Brussels, as the government session was still taking place.

Commercial broadcaster POP TV meanwhile reported that Slovenia had already received 120 kilometres of wire fence bought in Hungary. Moreover, the authorities were allegedly already working on acquiring permissions to erect the fence from land owners along the border.

After a recent drop in the number of refugees passing through the country, Slovenia is expected to face an increase in the coming days.

Foreign Minister Karl Erjavec said before the cabinet session that a surge of 20,000-30,000 migrants is expected to arrive by Thursday at the latest.

The smallest country on the route passing the Balkans to Western Europe has so far seen almost 170,000 refugees pass since 16 October, when Hungary sealed off its border with Croatia and diverted the refugee flow through Slovenia.

On Monday around 3,200 refugee entered the country by 6 PM, according to police figures. In the past week, the daily number of arrivals has averaged around 5,000, a drop from the peak of 12,600 who arrived in Slovenia on 21 October.


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