Home Focus Poklukar admitted that the number of illegal migrations is increasing, presenting the...

Poklukar admitted that the number of illegal migrations is increasing, presenting the asylum centre in Obrežje as the solution

Boštjan Poklukar (Photo: STA)

By: G. B.

In the last two months, the number of illegal border crossings between Croatia and Slovenia has significantly increased, said Interior Minister Boštjan Poklukar in Brussels on Monday. He added that, at this moment, he cannot speak about lifting the temporary border control with Croatia. The increased crossings are also the reason for establishing asylum centres near the border.

“In the last two months, there has been a significantly higher number of illegal entries into the Republic of Slovenia. So, at this moment, I cannot talk about abandoning internal control, primarily due to the risk of terrorism,” Poklukar said regarding the temporary border control with Croatia. He also highlighted the conflict in Gaza and mentioned the Russian aggression in Ukraine.

Slovenia introduced temporary controls on its borders with Croatia and Hungary in October last year, following Italy’s decision to do the same on its border with Slovenia. Rome and Ljubljana cited increased terrorist threats in Europe as the reason, and both countries extended the control until June. In January, the police dealt with 3,430 illegal border crossings, compared to 2,573 in the same period last year. The Novo Mesto police department was the most burdened, recording 82% of all unauthorised border crossings, totalling 2,813. The increased number of illegal entries is also noted by all countries on the Western Balkans migration route, as it is “extremely active”, according to Poklukar.

He emphasised that the problem still lies in migrants entering Western Balkan countries without visas and then illegally entering the EU. In talks with ministerial colleagues, he advocated for action and recalled the initiative to deploy members of the EU Agency for Border and Coast Guard (Frontex) to Bosnia and Herzegovina.

The increase in illegal border crossings this year is also the reason for establishing two temporary asylum centres in Obrežje and Središče ob Dravi, said Poklukar. Capacities in Ljubljana and Logatec are overcrowded due to last year’s increase in migrant arrivals. There has evidently been no discussion with anyone on how to stem the flow of migrants into Slovenia or through it.

Poklukar stated that the negative response from local communities is expected, as no one wants asylum capacities. He emphasised, “It has to be somewhere, and the government has made that decision.” The minister stressed that the police would ensure the safety of all residents in the vicinity of the asylum centres.

In short, Poklukar seems to interpret things quite simply: you solve the issue of increased migration by increasing the number of accommodation units for illegal migrants.

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