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Slovenia - Croatia Border Fence

Slovenia had been a staunch critic of fences between EU countries. On November 10, 2015 Slovenia's prime minister says that "in the next few days" the country will start building razor-wire fences on the border with Croatia to stem the number of refugees entering the country, but not to stop their arrivals entirely. "We decided yesterday to start building over the following days on the Schengen (zone) border with Croatia some temporary technical obstacles," PM Miro Cerar told reporters 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. 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.

By mid November 2015 nearly 170,000 refugees and migrants crossed Slovenia since mid-October 2015 when Hungary closed its border with Croatia and the flow was redirected to Slovenia. 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.

TV Slovenija reported 06 Novembe 2015 that 125 kilometers of the border fence was already in the country. It reportedly cost 12 euros per meter. Miro Cerar stressed that the government's decision to intensify its measures along the border will not represent a closure of the border, but a way to better control the flow of refugees. Speaking 06 Novembe 2015 at the sidelines of the parliamentary session, he refused to clarify the issue surrounding the fence or wire: whether Slovenia already has it or not. PM Cerar only assured that the government was active and that the issue was considered confidential.

On 22 September 2015 State Secretary at the Ministry of the Interior Botjan efic strongly refuted information published in some Italian media: Slovenia is not building a fence or a wall on its borders, and is not preventing entry to refugees and migrants. He said that Slovenia was closely following the situation in the region. A certain greater influx of arrivals was expected in the next few days.

"The number of refugees and migrants that have arrived in Slovenia today is lower. There aren't any groups like the ones that we received in the past few days, said the State Secretary at the Ministry of the Interior Botjan efic at todays press conference. According to the latest information, the current total number of migrants in Slovenia was 411, the security situation is normal, and despite a large number of migrants in the past few days, there are no major problems and complications. In the last 24 hours, Slovenia processed 1,072 migrants, of whom 267 were from Syria and 139 from Iraq, while 103 came from Afghanistan.

The Director of the Administration of the Republic of Slovenia for Civil Protection and Disaster Relief, Darko But, presented an overview of the situation in the field, particularly with regard to available capacities and occupancy rate of reception and accommodation centres: there are 3,655 beds, of which 476 are occupied. Humanitarian organisations and individuals in Slovenia have raised over 50,000 euros in donations.

State Secretary at the Ministry of Health, Sandra Tuar, briefed the journalists on the health care provided in the reception and accommodation centres, including the number of treated migrants. Currently, there are also 60 physicians and 30 volunteer nurses available, who are involved in the work in the field if necessary.

On 28 September 2015 State Secretary at the interior ministry, Botjan efic said that there had been no change in migration flows and that most migrants still enter the EU in Croatia and Hungary. There has also been no deterioration or change in the security situation. The main focus was still on increasing accommodation capacities, and respective health care services. According to current information, Slovenia can accommodate 6,700 people, while German and Austrian Caritas organisations have handed over 1000 beds, blankets and sleeping beds, said Darko But, the Director of the Administration of the Republic of Slovenia for Civil Protection and Disaster Relief.

By 23 October 2015 Slovenian officials cautiously let it be known that a border fence was an option for controlling migration flows in the country, while trying hard to avoid parallels with Hungary's barrier and razor wire approach. By 04 November suggestions from some official sources as reported by some Slovenian media indicated that the government had already ordered a fence if need should arise to erect it at the border to control the inflow of refugees.





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