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Refugee Flow into Slovenia Gathering Pace

Dobova, 18 September - The flow of refugees into Slovenia from Croatia is slowly gathering pace. In the area covered by the Novo mesto police directorate alone about 600 have entered in roughly the past 24 hours, according to police estimates revealed on Friday.

Brežice
Refugees on Slovenia-Croatia border crossing Obrežje.
Photo: Nebojša Tejić/STA

Brežice
Migrants in Brežice.
Photo: Sebastijan Maček/STA

Brežice
Refugees on Slovenia-Croatia border crossing Obrežje.
Photo: Nebojša Tejić/STA

Brežice
Refugees on Slovenia-Croatia border crossing Obrežje.
Photo: Nebojša Tejić/STA

Brežice
Refugees on Slovenia-Croatia border crossing Obrežje.
Photo: Nebojša Tejić/STA

Brežice
Refugees on Slovenia-Croatia border crossing Obrežje.
Photo: Nebojša Tejić/STA

Brežice
Refugees on Slovenia-Croatia border crossing Obrežje.
Photo: Nebojša Tejić/STA

Brežice
Refugees on Slovenia-Croatia border crossing Obrežje.
Photo: Nebojša Tejić/STA

Brežice
Refugees on Slovenia-Croatia border crossing Obrežje.
Photo: Nebojša Tejić/STA

Brežice
Refugees on Slovenia-Croatia border crossing Obrežje.
Photo: Nebojša Tejić/STA

Brežice
Refugees on Slovenia-Croatia border crossing Obrežje.
Photo: Nebojša Tejić/STA

Brežice
Refugees on Slovenia-Croatia border crossing Obrežje.
Photo: Nebojša Tejić/STA

Brežice
Refugees on Slovenia-Croatia border crossing Obrežje.
Photo: Nebojša Tejić/STA

Brežice
Refugees on Slovenia-Croatia border crossing Obrežje.
Photo: Nebojša Tejić/STA

Brežice
Migrants in Brežice.
Photo: Sebastijan Maček/STA

Brežice
Migrants in Brežice.
Photo: Sebastijan Maček/STA

Brežice
Migrants in Brežice.
Photo: Sebastijan Maček/STA

The situation has "changed significantly" since yesterday, Anton Štubljar, the head of the Novo mesto police division for borders, told the press.

About 200 people are still on several border crossings awaiting to be shipped to the Brežice police station, where they are being processed at a reception centre.

Some 180 are still in Brežice while over 200 who were already processed have been relocated to the Postojna detention centre for migrants, according to Štubljar.

Police have stepped up border controls and deployed riot police along the main spots where the migrants have been illegally entering Slovenia.

But Štubljar said their job was being made difficult by Croatia, since Croatian border police are not carrying out controls in line with Schengen standards.

"Regional police cooperation between Slovenia and Croatia is not proceeding the way we would like," he said.

Given the lack of cooperation with Croatia - which has already led to the Croatian ambassador to be summoned to the Foreign Ministry - the police do not have an estimate of how many people might seek to cross into Slovenia tonight and in the coming days.

However, groups of people are gathering around several smaller border crossings in the Brežice area, and there are groups walking on the motorway towards Obrežje border crossing, the biggest in the area.

Most refugees say they do not want to stay in Slovenia but want to continue north. Indeed, Štubljar said not a single person processed in Brežice had made an asylum request.

The situation is similar to yesterday evening, when groups started gathering just before the main border posts and then attempted to make their way across the border under cover of dark.

sm/gz
© STA, 2015