Šefic: Partial solutions will bring no good to anyone“Despite the otherwise unproblematic arrival of a large number of refugees and migrants, matters grew complicated yesterday when Croatia requested that we accept more refugees than we could handle. Since the number was as high as 5000, we did not approve the arrival of the transports. Communication with Croatia has since broken down and they have stopped responding. We find this behaviour completely unacceptable,” the State Secretary at the Ministry of the Interior, Boštjan Šefic, told the press at the conference today.
“We are aware that Austria, with whom Slovenia has maintained constant contact, is having great difficulties due to the full utilisation of their capacities, which is why their announcement yesterday that they would be accepting only a minimal number of people, made our measures all the more necessary. Things are already improving, however, and Austria is now once again accepting refugees and migrants. It is obvious that the Austrians are doing their best to meet us halfway in this situation”, Šefic noted.
According to our estimates, around 5000 migrants had arrived in Slovenia by the time the press conference started. With the expected arrival of another train, the number could rise to 6000. The structure of refugees and migrants remains about the same; although there were a number of women and children among them this time, men were still in the majority. The registered arrivals included some 2400 Syrians, just over 1000 Afghan nationals, around 600 Iraqi citizens and a little over 100 Pakistani nationals. Only 47 people have requested international protection so far.
To free up capacities at the reception centres by the border as quickly as possible, refugees and migrants will be promptly transferred inland to accommodation centres, where they will undergo the necessary registration procedures. Despite recent developments, we are still doing our best to increase our capacities, especially with regard to heated facilities, so that we can take proper care of the refugees and migrants entering our country until their potential departure for Austria. According to the director of the Administration for Civil Protection and Disaster Relief, Darko But, there is also an increasing need for volunteers to take care of the refugees and migrants staying at the reception and accommodation centres, while the short duration of their stay at the accommodation centres makes providing them with hot meals a major logistical challenge.
According to Šefic, Slovenia’s priority in the days ahead will continue to be protecting people, maintaining law and order, and ensuring the safety and well-being of the refugees and migrants. Slovenia will continue all its activities in collaboration with Austria, Germany and other EU member states so that, together, we can stabilise the migratory flow and agree on a comprehensive solution for the problem. “Partial solutions will bring no good to any of us. Slovenia will do its best to manage the situation, but the EU and all the countries involved need to understand that if we lose control over the influx of refugees, it will go unchecked in all directions,” Šefic added.