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Thousands of Migrants Enter Slovenia From Croatia

  • VOA News

Migrants make their way on foot along the outskirts of Brezice, Slovenia, Oct. 20, 2015.

Migrants make their way on foot along the outskirts of Brezice, Slovenia, Oct. 20, 2015.

Thousands of asylum seekers have entered Slovenia since Saturday, forcing the country to deal with a surge of migration on its southern border.

Slovenian authorities said that at least 4,000 migrants, including many babies and young children, arrived Tuesday, in addition to about 8,000 migrants who arrived Monday.

Slovenian President Borut Pahor said that additional police will be sent to the border with Croatia and that he is ready to approve the deployment of the Slovenian army to cope with the large influx of migrants.

After meeting with top European Union officials in Brussels, the Slovenian President said that border police help and financial aid to deal with the crisis could also be approved if it is requested.

Speaking to reporters in Ljubljana earlier in the day, Slovenia’s interior minister, Bostjan Sefic, said that the army's power would be limited and it would not have police authority and “everything would be led by the Slovenian police.”

Sefic said that his government is not ruling out the possibility of safeguarding border crossing “with physical barriers.”

Slovenia, a tiny country of 2.2 million people, also has appealed for help from the European Union to cope with the stream of migrants and refugees arriving from Croatia since Hungary closed its border Friday.

Slovenia has accused Croatia of transporting large numbers of asylum seekers without consultation.

Croatian Minister of Internal Affairs Ranko Ostojic said Tuesday that Croatia has asked to transit half of the newcomers through Slovenia, however, and he asked Slovenia where to take the migrants.

Most of the people who have inundated the Balkan countries are fleeing war and poverty in the Middle East, Africa and Asia, and are trying to find a way to reach Germany, Sweden or other prosperous countries of Western Europe that are more sympathetic to asylum seekers.

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