Slovenia, Croatia ban transit of migrants

Slovenia, Croatia ban transit of migrants


Slovenia and neighbouring Croatia will from Wednesday refuse the transit of most migrants through their territory in a bid to seal off the Balkan route used by hundreds of thousands of people seeking a new life in Europe, officials said.The latest twist in Europe’s migrant crisis could set off a domino effect among Balkan states, with Serbia indicating it would follow Ljubljana’s lead and Macedonia apparently set to so the same.The moves to shut down the main route used by the vast influx of migrants hoping to find asylum or better economic prospects in northern Europe come barely a day after the EU and Turkey agreed a proposal aimed at easing the crisis.EU officials hailed Monday’s deal with Ankara as an important breakthrough, but the head of the UN refugee agency cast doubt on its legality, while Amnesty International said the plan “dealt a death blow to the right to seek asylum”.

Slovenia’s interior ministry said late Tuesday that from midnight (2300 GMT), access would only be granted to “foreigners meeting the requirements to enter the country”, those wishing to claim asylum, and migrants selected “on a case by case basis on humanitarian grounds and in accordance with the rules of the Schengen zone”.Fellow EU member Croatia, which is not part of the passport-free Schengen zone, said it would follow Slovenia’s lead and refuse transit to most migrants as of midnight.“Apparently Europe has decided to start a new phase in resolving the migrant crisis. It was concluded that on the Schengen zone borders the Schengen rules would be applied,” Interior Minister Vlaho Orepic told RTL commercial television.Croatia, which had already limited the number allowed to enter, would now only allow in migrants with proper visas.“The border of Europe will be on the Macedonia-Greek frontier and we will respect the decisions which were made,” he said.


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