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Borders Open as Slovenia Joins Schengen Area

Nova Gorica/Ċ entilj, 21 December - Gates at Slovenia's border crossings with Italy, Austria and Hungary were lifted a minute past midnight on Friday and border checks were eliminated as the country joined the Schengen border-free area along with eight other newcomers to the bloc.

Sentilj border crossing
A ceremony marking Schengen expansion at Slovenia's biggest border crossing with Austria.
Photo: Domen Groegl/STA

Sentilj border crossing
Austrian Economy and Labour Minister Martin Bartenstein, Slovenian Interior Minister Dragutin Mate and head of the Slovenian Police Force Joze Romsek as the gates open at Slovenia's biggest border crossing with Austria to mark Schengen expansion.
Photo: Domen Groegl/STA

Sentilj border crossing
Head of the Police Force Joze Romsek, Interior Minister Dragutin Mate and Austrian Economy and Labour Minister Martin Bartenstein lift the gates at Slovenia's biggest border crossing with Austria to mark Schengen expansion.
Photo: Domen Groegl/STA

Sentilj border crossing
Officials take part in a ceremony to mark Schengen expansion at Slovenia's biggest crossing with Austria: (left to right) Mayor of Maribor Franc Kangler, Austrian Economy and Labour Minister Martin Bartenstein and Slovenian Interior Minister Dragutin Mate.
Photo: Domen Groegl/STA

Sentilj border crossing
Head of the Slovenian Police Force Joze Romsek (right) talking to an Austrian police official at a Schengen expansion ceremony at Slovenia's biggest border crossing with Austria.
Photo: Domen Groegl/STA

Sentilj border crossing
Austrian Economy and Labour Minister Martin Bartenstein (right) talking to Slovenian Interior Minister Dragutin Mate and head of the Police Force Joze Romsek on the sidelines of a ceremony upon Schengen expansion.
Photo: Domen Groegl/STA

Sentilj border crossing
Interior Minister Dragutin Mate (centre) talking to Austrian Economy and Labour Minister Martin Bartenstein on the sidelines of a ceremony upon Schengen expansion.
Photo: Domen Groegl/STA

Sentilj border crossing
Interior Minister Dragutin Mate (centre) and head of the Police Force Joze Romsek talking to Austrian Economy and Labour Minister Martin Bartenstein on the sidelines of a ceremony upon Schengen expansion.
Photo: Domen Groegl/STA

Sentilj border crossing
Interior Minister Dragutin Mate (second from left) and head of the Police Force Joze Romsek are on hand for a Schengen expansion ceremony at Slovenia's biggest border crossing with Austria.
Photo: Domen Groegl/STA

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