Wednesday

26th Sep 2018

Slovenia erects fence to 'channel' migrants

  • Around 8,000 people arriving in Slovenia each day (Photo: Jacksoncam)

Slovenia has started building a fence on its border with Croatia, in efforts, the government said, to “prevent the dispersal of refugees and to steer them towards controlled entry points.”

The installation of 1.5 km worth of an 1.8-metre high razor wire structure began early on Wednesday (11 November) morning near the easterly villages of Rigonce and Razkrizje.

Read and decide

Join EUobserver today

Support quality EU news

Get instant access to all articles — and 18 year's of archives. 30 days free trial.

... or join as a group

The move had been announced on Tuesday by Slovenia prime minister Miro Cerar, who said he wants to "prevent a humanitarian disaster.”

“As a human being, I find the decision to erect physical barriers difficult to make, as I certainly do not want Europe to close its borders again. However, as prime minister, I have to take responsibility to ensure the controlled flow of refugees," he said.

He added Slovenia might have to take care of even more people, after neighbouring Austria announced it would take in only 6,000 people a day and after Germany indicated it will impose similar restrictions.

Almost 7,500 people arrived in Slovenia on Tuesday, with a furter 4,360 counted by 2pm on Wednesday.

Interior state secretary Bostjan Sefic told press the number of exits from the country is normal, but gave no figures.

Since mid-October, over 170,000 people entered Slovenia, mainly from Croatia.

"This measure [the fence] is not to prevent people from entering, but to channel them towards spots where they can be registered and sent to accommodation centers," Sefic said.

He said migrants come mainly from Syria, Afghanistan, Iraq and Pakistan. He noted that while "men prevail, there is an increasing number of women and minors.”

Other sections of the fence will be set up in coming days, but the state secretary declined to say where.

'Waste of money'

In Croatia, the government said Slovenia's move is "a waste of money".

"It would have been better to build a temporary shelter for refugees, with the same capacity as ours,” interior minister Ranko Ostojic said, referring to a 5,000-place shelter opened recently.

EU authorities did not react to Slovenia’s fence decision. 

Although it is installed on a border between two EU states, it is on an external Schengen border, as Croatia is not yet a member of the free-circulation area.

"Member states have the responsibility to manage their portion of the external borders and it is up to them to identify the measures to be put in place to make sure EU borders are secure," the EU Commission told EUobserver.

"Member states are not obliged to notify the European Commission regarding the tools they are using for border surveillance."

Interview

EU refugee crisis: the morality, stupid!

"If a person is dying next to you, do you go back and ask an economist whether it pays to be good or not?" Tomas Sedlacek asks.

News in Brief

  1. UN chief: World suffering from 'trust deficit disorder'
  2. Stalemate in Sweden as parliament ousts prime minister
  3. Migrant rescue ship heading to French port
  4. EU angry at British tabloids on Brexit
  5. UK to allow EU flights in no-deal Brexit
  6. Greek reporters arrested after story on 'mishandled' EU funds
  7. Austrian minister urges police to out foreign sex offenders
  8. ECB's Draghi set to clarify role in secretive G30 group

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. NORDIC COUNCIL OF MINISTERSThe vital bioeconomy. New issue of “Sustainable Growth the Nordic Way” out now
  2. NORDIC COUNCIL OF MINISTERSThe Nordic gender effect goes international
  3. NORDIC COUNCIL OF MINISTERSPaula Lehtomaki from Finland elected as the Council's first female Secretary General
  4. NORDIC COUNCIL OF MINISTERSNordic design sets the stage at COP24, running a competition for sustainable chairs.
  5. Counter BalanceIn Kenya, a motorway funded by the European Investment Bank runs over roadside dwellers
  6. ACCACompany Law Package: Making the Best of Digital and Cross Border Mobility,
  7. IPHRCivil Society Worried About Shortcomings in EU-Kyrgyzstan Human Rights Dialogue
  8. UNESDAThe European Soft Drinks Industry Supports over 1.7 Million Jobs
  9. Mission of China to the EUJointly Building Belt and Road Initiative Leads to a Better Future for All
  10. IPHRCivil society asks PACE to appoint Rapporteur to probe issue of political prisoners in Azerbaijan
  11. ACCASocial Mobility – How Can We Increase Opportunities Through Training and Education?
  12. Nordic Council of MinistersEnergy Solutions for a Greener Tomorrow

Latest News

  1. EU court delivers transparency blow on MEP expenses
  2. Russian with Malta passport in money-laundering probe
  3. Cyprus: Russia's EU weak link?
  4. Missing signature gaffe for Azerbaijan gas pipeline
  5. Every major city in Europe is getting warmer
  6. No chance of meeting EU renewable goals if infrastructure neglected
  7. Brexit and MEPs expenses in the spotlight This WEEK
  8. Wake-up call on European Day Against Islamophobia

Join EUobserver

Support quality EU news

Join us