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Tuesday, April 23, 2024

Arrogant government imposition of migrant centres

By: Vida Kocjan

At the end of February, the government decided to establish temporary asylum centres for the accommodation of international protection seekers in the areas of former border crossings Obrežje and Središče ob Dravi. This decision was made without prior notification to both municipalities and their residents, nor obtaining their consent. The decision caused a stir in the municipalities, with strong reactions from the locals.

In Brežice, an extraordinary session of the municipal council was convened last Tuesday, March 5th, upon the proposal of the Slovenian Democratic Party (SDS) councillors, joined by numerous residents. After a three-hour discussion, the councillors adopted five resolutions opposing the government’s decision to establish a temporary asylum centre in Obrežje or in the area of the Brežice municipality. It was confirmed that the local community had not been informed about the government’s intention regarding the asylum centre before the decision was made. Mayor Ivan Molan stated during the session, among other things, that he was called by Katarina Štrukelj, the director of the Office of the Republic of Slovenia for the Care and Integration of Migrants, last Thursday after the government session, who informed him about the decision made. Štrukelj, who attended the session of the Brežice municipal council with her colleagues, confirmed this and stated that the government had been searching for suitable locations for the accommodation of illegal migrants expressing intent for international protection (asylum) or already in the asylum process for several months through tenders. However, they have been unsuccessful as local communities oppose such decisions.

Police only about the registration centre

At the session of the Brežice municipal council, attended by numerous residents of the local communities of Jesenice in Dolenjska and Velika Dolina, there were also present Igor Juršič, the director of the Police Administration (PU) Novo mesto, Bojan Tomc, the head of the Department for State Borders and Foreigners at PU Novo mesto, and Marjan Štubljar from the Border Police Sector responsible for the registration centre. Representatives of the government were not present at the session. The police did not speak about the asylum centre, allegedly lacking information on it, but they explained the issues related to migrations and the planned registration centre in Obrežje.

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