Thursday, November 12, 2015
Slovenia putting up fence along border with Croatia to control migrant flow
Slovenia began erecting a razor wire fence along parts of its border with Croatia on Wednesday, saying it wanted better control over a tide of migrants flowing through the tiny country en route to other areas of Europe.
The continent is grappling with its biggest influx of migrants - more than one million are expected this year - since World War Two and is deeply split over how best to respond. European Union leaders were to hold a special summit in Malta later on Wednesday to try to iron out their differences.
Around 180,000 people, many fleeing war in Syria and Afghanistan, have streamed into Slovenia since mid-October after trekking northwards along a Balkan corridor from Greece, most of them bound ultimately for Austria and then Germany.
Slovenian army trucks loaded with wire fencing arrived in Veliki Obrez, a village on the southeastern border with Croatia, early on Wednesday. By 1400 GMT, over 1 km (mile) of wire had been strung up, a Reuters photographer there reported.
"The barriers do not have the purpose of preventing arrivals to Slovenia or significantly reducing them... Their purpose is to direct the flow of migrants to controlled entrance points," Bostjan Sefic, state secretary at the Slovenian Interior Ministry, told a news conference.
He said that a total of 1.5 km (0.9 mile) of fence had so far been erected along two locations on the border but declined to reveal how many more kilometers would be fenced off.
The main point of disagreement in the EU is over mandatory national quotas to share out asylum seeking refugees and migrants among the 28 member states.
Hungary, whose anti-immigrant government shut its border to arriving migrants in October, as well as the Czech Republic, Poland and Slovakia deeply oppose the quotas.
Credit to Reuters
Read more at Reutershttp://www.reuters.com/article/2015/11/11/us-europe-migrants-slovenia-idUSKCN0T00I120151111#2p24CGWJxTAv6RQb.99