Croatia, Slovenia to Allow up to 500 Migrants per Day to Enter, Serbia Says

Southeast Europe | February 26, 2016, Friday // 16:17|  views


Croatia has formally informed Serbia that the Croatian authorities will cap migrant arrivals at 500 per day, according to Serbia’s Interior Minister Nebojsa Stefanovic, the AP reported on Friday.

The formal note had been received by the Serbian authorities on Thursday. Slovenia had previously informed Croatia of the change that sets a much lower limit for the number of migrants trying to enter the EU along the Balkan route.

The main European route used by migrants these days runs from Greece via non-EU Macedonia and Serbia to EU members Croatia and Slovenia, from where they want to enter Austria and Germany. Last month, Austria decided to cap the number of refugees it wants to accept to 37,500 this year and a total of 127,500 through 2019.

The cap on the number of migrants allowed to enter Croatia and Slovenia could further increase migrant pressure in Greece, Macedonia and Serbia. About 2,000 migrants arrive daily in Greece from Turkey – on top of the  thousands who are already stuck in Greece after other countries of the EU’s Schengen free-travel zone further north reintroduced controls at their borders to stem the migrant influx.

Around 2,000 people in Serbia are waiting to move on, the AP quoted Stefanovic as saying.

However, only a small number of them had requested asylum, Stefanovic said, and added that the migrants' goal was to reach Western European countries, according to Tanjug.

"Even those who had requested asylum before did so to stay for a few days and get some rest to be able to move on," the Serbian news agency quoted Stefanovic as saying.

If some countries on the so-called Balkan route close their borders to asylum seekers, Serbia would have to do the same on its border with Macedonia, Serbia’s Foreign Minister Ivica Dacic said earlier this month.


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Tags: greece, macedonia, Serbia, Slovenia, Stefanovic, turkey, migrants, refugees.


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