“Since the beginning of the migration crisis, Slovenia has been active, and this activity has yielded results – our initiative to stop irregular migration has been heard, accepted and supported by a large majority of leaders of European countries. It is also the only initiative to resolve the migration crisis that has begun to be implemented,” said Prime Minister Miro Cerat at today’s press conference after the meeting of the European Council.
His initiative is based on establishing an additional, second line of border control to limit irregular migration on the border between Macedonia and Greece as a useful and complementary measure to other measures. This would prevent tensions on the borders of Western Balkan countries until the agreement with Turkey is effective enough and until Greece takes all the necessary measures to stem the influx of migrants.
The Slovenian initiative does not stop the wave of migration at the doors to Europe. The borders are not closed, as this could lead to economic damage, the disintegration of the Schengen area and thence to the disintegration of the EU and conflicts in the Balkans.
In this regard, Premier Cerar stressed that, when facing the migration crisis, we should not forget about compassion, solidarity and care for fellow humans. There are people among the migrants who need our help, particularly vulnerable groups. PM Cerar understands people’s fears, but stresses that they are groundless. While some half a million people have passed through Slovenia in the last several months, this has not disturbed our citizens and there have been no security incidents. He gave the assurance that he would do everything to continue to keep citizens and their property safe.
The Prime Minister condemned those who promote intolerance and xenophobia in a time that requires the greatest unity. He believes that the reasons for such behaviour benefit neither Slovenia nor its citizens. He urged Slovenians to believe in peace, tolerance, solidarity and aid.
With regard to finding additional accommodation capacities for migrants, he said that Slovenia has so far had appropriate capacities. When looking for new accommodation locations, he urged discussions with local communities and a tolerant attitude to the issues. “People need help,” he said, noting that migrants will not threaten the safety of Slovenian citizens.
PM Cerar again thanked the police, the armed forces and representatives of civilian protection services, NGOs, charities and volunteers for their self-sacrificing work when facing the migration crisis.