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Minister Says Situation Under Control, 2,500 Refugees Crossed into Slovenia so Far

Ljubljana, 20 September - Interior Minister Vesna Györkös Žnidar told the press Sunday that Slovenia had found itself under strong migratory pressure, but that the situation was currently under control. She said that 2,500 migrants had entered from Croatia so far and that only seven had asked for international protection.

Spielfeld
Around 260 refugees allowed to cross into Austria at Spielfeld crossing with Slovenia.
Photo: Gregor Mlakar/STA

"We are accommodating migrants at locations intended for this. Slovenia is currently taking actions in line with national and European legislation, which it will continue to do until the size of the migration wave allows this," the minister said.

She said the Slovenia was seen in Europe as a credible and responsible EU member because of how it is handling the migration wave.

As regards the search for a joint solution at EU level, the minister said Slovenia was ready to participate in the programme of the European Commission on the resettlement of an additional 120,000 refugees from the countries carrying the biggest burden.

Slovenia will however insist on certain reservations, she added, noting it was necessary to determine who in fact is entitled to the programme as well as to take into consideration the current situation in Slovenia.

"I'm not in favour of a position where Slovenia would need to pay 0.002% of GDP in case it would not be able to participate in the resettlement," Györkös Žnidar said.

As to the refugee numbers so far, she said 2,500 migrants had been accepted from Croatia. Practically all have been identified and registered, while only seven applied for international protection.

Interior Ministry State Secretary Boštjan Šefic added that the numbers in individual reception centres were fluctuating fast, as the refugees want to move on and cannot be kept there by force under Slovenian legislation.

Just before the press conference 400 refugees each were reported waiting at the Obrežje and Rigonce border crossings to enter Slovenia.

The nearby reception centres are being filled and vacated again as the refugees are making their way further north.

At around noon the first larger group, numbering around 100 refugees, arrived in Ljubljana by train from the Logatec facilities to mostly continue their way to Maribor.

They are expected to crsos over into Austria at the Spielfeld crossing where Austrian authorities have for the most part not been preventing entry.

Free passage is also expected for a group of 350 that left the Gornja Radgona reception centre today, with similar numbers reported from the Slovenian-Austrian border yesterday.

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© STA, 2015