Over 55,000 Ukrainian refugees have transited Slovenia, minister says

Logatec – More than 55,000 refugees from Ukraine have so far transited Slovenia, mostly to get to their relatives and friends in Italy, Spain or France, while more than 5,800 have been accommodated in Slovenia, Interior Minister Aleš Hojs said as he visited the refugee centre in Logatec as part of a government visit to Central Slovenia.

Less than a thousand refugees are staying in Slovenian accommodation centres, while the rest are in private accommodation or staying with their relatives or friends.

In the past week, 100-150 Ukrainian refugees have been arriving in Slovenia every day, the minister said, adding he had no information of a potential influx.

But it is true that some countries, including Poland, Hungary and Moldova, have been reporting of accepting fewer refugees.

Next to Logatec and Debeli Rtič, a third centre for Ukrainian refugees is now being set up near the Jelšane border crossing with Croatia. The facilities there have been provided by the Interior Ministry.

Hojs said some feared the accommodation centres would become a kind of new migrant centres, but he stressed they were intended exclusively for refugees from Ukraine, who are entitled to temporary protection. “These are not new migration centres.”

The minister said he was happy that Slovenia had been relatively successful in its efforts to provide protection to Ukrainian refugees.

“Perhaps there have been some more delays in the issuing of decisions on temporary protection at administrative units but let me tell you that each refugee who has arrived in Slovenia after 24 February will be included in the system of temporary protection.”

Concerns have been raised because administrative units have one month to decide on an application. Refugees must submit the application within three days since their arrival.

Although the process of obtaining temporary protection is significantly shorter than that for obtaining international protection, it can still last a month or more.

In line with a government decision adopted last week, a person who requests for temporary protection has the right to accommodation at an accommodation centre and to food there. All the other rights such as financial assistance, access to the labour market and education, come after their request is approved.

There are currently 299 refugees at the Logatec centre, including 125 children, who will start to go to school on Monday. They will be attending primary schools in Logatec, Horjul and Rovte. The latter has already delivered notebooks the children will need to the centre.

The capacities in Logatec have been expanded to be able to accept 350 refugees. Mostly mothers with children are staying in Logatec, and three men.

According to data from administrative units, 8,013 Ukrainian refugees have so far asked for temporary protection. So far, protection has been granted to 88 of them, no application has been rejected.

A total of 5,039 Ukrainian citizens have been registered in Slovenia today, while since the start of the Ukraine war, police have processed 15,081 Ukrainian citizens, most of whom only transited Slovenia.