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Slovenia will take down its border fence with Croatia

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By AFP
Slovenian soldiers erect a razor-wired fence on the Croatian border in Gibina, Slovenia, Wednesday, Nov. 11, 2015
Slovenian soldiers erect a razor-wired fence on the Croatian border in Gibina, Slovenia, Wednesday, Nov. 11, 2015   -   Copyright  Credit: Darko Bandic/AP

Slovenia says a 200-kilometre fence on its border with Croatia to deter migrants has not fulfilled its purpose and will be taken down.

It was put up during Europe's 2015 migration crisis and covers around a third of the frontier between the two countries. 

"The fence has not fulfilled its declared purpose, which was to discourage those who would like to cross the border," said Slovenia's new prime minister, Robert Golob, who made taking down the barrier part of his recent election campaign.

The number of illegal migrant arrivals has increased since the beginning of the year, added Golob. 

In addition, human rights organisations and police have warned that due to the presence of the barrier, many illegal immigrants now take more dangerous routes to enter Slovenia.

Golob was inaugurated last month after his small liberal Freedom Movement (GS) party triumphed in a parliamentary poll in April. 

He was elected on the promise of restoring "normalcy" and democracy, after the mandate of his predecessor Janez Jansa.

Jansa, an ally of Hungarian leader Viktor Orban, had defended the establishment of this fence and other devices intended to prevent migrants from entering Slovenian soil.

The conditions in asylum seeker reception centres are "deplorable", said Golob, who announced measures to improve them and speed up the processing of their claims.