Slovenia to remove wire fence on border with Croatia

Slovenia to remove wire fence on border with Croatia
# 16 June 2022 05:10 (UTC +04:00)

Slovenia will remove the wire fence on its border with Croatia since its has failed to serve its purpose, the EU country's Prime Minister Robert Golob said Wednesday, APA reports citing Agence France Presse.

During Europe's 2015-2016 migrant crisis, during which over half a million migrants crossed Slovenia heading for Italy or Austria, Slovenia erected some 200 kilometres (124 miles) of wire and panel fence covering almost a third of its border with Croatia.

Although Croatia is a member of the European Union it has not joined yet the visa-free Schengen area.

"The wire fence did not serve its declared purpose of discouraging anybody from (attempting to cross) our border," Golob told a news conference, adding that removing the fence was one of his liberal Freedom Movement (GS) party's promises ahead of the April general elections.

"We persist on that... for humanitarian reasons and considering it (the fence) has largely failed to fulfil its purpose," Golob said adding that police would prepare an action plan for the removal by the end of June.

At the April elections Golob's GS won 34.4-percent support, defeating Janez Jansa's anti-migrant Slovenian Democratic Party (SDS) which had advocated the erection of the fence as well as other measures to prevent migrants from entering the EU country.

Golob said on Wednesday that the number of illegal crossings has been increasing -- a 75 percents increase during the first five months of the year compared to the same period in 2021 -- regardless of the fence that could only put in danger the lives of migrants.

Human rights organisations and police have warned that, due to the fence, many migrants use more dangerous routes to cross the border.

Golob also said the conditions in asylum centres is currently "very bad" and announced measures to improve them and to speed up the procedure for regulating the status for migrants coming from Ukraine or crossing the Mediterranean sea.

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