Slovenia takes the strain of Europe's migrant influx

Access to the comments Comments
By Euronews
Slovenia takes the strain of Europe's migrant influx

Slovenia is the latest focus of Europe’s migration crisis.

On Saturday some 3,000 migrants and refugees crossed the border from Croatia. Thousands more will follow.

On Sunday morning, security was tight as a train arrived from Croatia, packed with people eager to pass through this, another transit country, as quickly as possible to get to Western Europe.

First though, amid tight security, they are bussed to registration centres.

The Balkan route has changed because of Hungary closing its borders to migrants – first with Serbia and since this weekend with Croatia. As a result they are streaming into Slovenia – many with Germany ultimately in their sights.

“Hungary shall be protected” proclaims a sign at the town of Letenye on the Hungarian border with Croatia.

Despite entry now being blocked to migrants, security forces are still around.

“In recent days quite a few police officers have been deployed to our town,” local mayor Szilárd Farkas told euronews.

“We give them accommodation in different places.”

Hungary’s right-wing government has stemmed the migrant flow, arguing that it is duty-bound to halt an influx it says threatens prosperity, security and what it calls the “Christian values” of Europe.

“We haven’t seen migrants so far,” one local Letenye woman told euronews.

“I hope we won’t see any in the future. Soldiers come and go but nothing else happens. Luckily. I hope this won’t change.”

Hungary though does not feel fully protected yet. Amid fears that migrants might try to get in via their new transit country, Budapest says it will temporarily reinstate border controls with Slovenia.

Foreign Minister Peter Szijjarto told national news agency MTI that the government had information that migrants had started to be shipped to Slovenia’s border with Hungary, which he said made the measure necessary.

He added that it was being “carried out within the framework of the Schengen agreement”.

Unlike Croatia, Hungary and Slovenia are both members of the EU’s passport-free Schengen zone.

In the meantime, despite winter fast approaching, refugees fleeing the conflicts in Syria, Iraq and Afghanistan continue to make the perilous sea journey to the shores of Greece, ready to begin their long trek across Europe.