Slovenia’s ready to build a fence on its border with Croatia

Slovenia’s prime minister says his country is ready to build a fence on its border with Croatia if an EU plan to stem their flow across the Balkans fails.

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Miro Cerar, speaking after a meeting of Slovenia’s national security council on Wednesday, says “if necessary, we are ready to put up the fence immediately.”

EU and Balkan leaders agreed at a weekend summit to stem the massive migrant surge by introducing tighter border controls.

Since Oct. 16, when the refugee flow was rerouted to Slovenia after Hungary sealed off its border with Croatia, more than 86,000 people have crossed into Slovenia.

The small Alpine nation has been struggling to cope with the influx and has criticized Croatia for sending more migrants to the border than it can handle.

Slovenia said on Tuesday it would deploy the army to guard its border and appealed for help from the European Union.

Tensions between Germany and Austria worsened on Wednesday, with each side accusing the other of failing to maintain order and a manageable flow at certain border crossings.

Austria’s interior minister Johanna Mikl-Leitner  has announced late Tuesday, she had ordered her office to begin exploring possibilities for a “solid, technical barrier several kilometers long.” Pressed about the issue on Austrian public television on Wednesday, she said, “Of course it is about a fence.”

Afghans, who are arriving in the second-highest numbers, behind Syrians, were likely to be sent back home and their asylum requests denied. Germany’s interior minister, Thomas de Maizière said: “People who come to us as refugees from Afghanistan cannot all expect to be able to stay in Germany,”

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At the same time leaders in Germany are complaining that they are overwhelmed and can barely handle the asylum seekers they already have, never mind the tens of thousands more who are on their way.

 

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