€50,000 for emergency humanitarian aid to the people of Haiti
The Slovenian Government responded to the appeal of the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (UN OCHA), contributing €50,000 for urgent humanitarian aid to people suffering from the hurricane that devastated Haiti.
At today’s correspondence session, the Government of the Republic of Slovenia decided to take in, based on the allocated quota, 40 Syrian citizens who all fulfil the refugee status recognition criteria and are coming from Turkey.
The government approves the plan to relocate 567 persons from Italy and Greece and resettle 20 from third countries.
In his statement today, the State Secretary at the Ministrz of the Interior, Boštjan Šefic, said that it was difficult to assess developments only a day after the agreement in Brussels. The new situation regarding migration will be carefully assessed by the operational group in the next few days, and a further course of action will be taken on its basis. This will be adapted to the fact that there is currently no spontaneous migration. According to Šefic, illegal migration cannot be completely excluded, so control of the border remains tightened.
Yesterday, on 7 March 2016, EU heads of state or government adopted a statement committing them to fully implement the decisions of the European Council of 18 and 19 February 2016 which state that the Schengen Borders Code should be fully applied again and that the existing mode of migration along the Western Balkans route should come to an end. This means that the following persons will be able to enter Slovenia:
“The situation in Slovenia is normal, stable and there is nothing unusual,” State Secretary Boštjan Šefic, who coordinates the refugee issue in Slovenia, said at a press conference today. Since mid- February up to 800 migrants a day have arrived, and sometimes there are none. Slovenia will continue to implement the Schengen rules strictly.
“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.
“Today, the government adopted the first in a series of expected measures intended to control the influx of migrants,” the interior minister Vesna Györkös Žnidar said after today's press conference following the regular government session. This is Slovenia’s response to Austria limiting the intake of migrants, about which the Austrian interior minister sent official information today. The measure will come into force today at 22.00, when a new train with migrants from Croatia is expected.
At today's press conference, the State Secretary at the Ministry of the Interior, Boštjan Šefic, highlighted that all Slovenia’s activities regarding control of the flow of migrants were focused on maintaining the normal functioning of the state and providing suitable security, which it is achieving through international cooperation. This ensures that Slovenia will continue to control the flow of migrants as it has so far. Vital measures are moving towards establishing joint agreements, which is essential for the normal functioning of all countries along the Western-Balkan route.
These days, we are dealing with a situation in which migration policies of individual countries is changing daily. Various countries are reacting to the increased flow of migrants differently. Some have re-introduced temporary border controls, while others seek different solutions – most have begun to gradually restrict the conditions for entering their countries.
Today, the State Secretary at the Ministry of the Interior, Boštjan Šefic, responded to the rejection of a group of foreigners by Austrian security bodies and the statements of the Bavarian interior minister on the situation on the Slovenian Schengen border.
At today’s session, the Government of the Republic of Slovenia approved the text of the draft Act on International Protection and Referred it to the National Assembly.
After today's meeting with municipality representatives, State Secretary at the interior ministry Boštjan Šefic said that the activities to control the influx of migrants were assessed as good. The mayors did highlight a few problems, particularly with regard to ensuring the safety of local residents. At the meeting, government representatives briefed the municipalities on the assessment of the security situation, the general and medical care for refugees and preparations for the winter.
At a press conference on the refugee crisis earlier today, the State Secretary at the Ministry of the Interior, Boštjan Šefic, and the Civil Protection Commander, Srečko Šestan, outlined the current situation with regard to the arrival and accommodation of refugees. According to Šefic, yesterday was one of the most difficult days yet for everyone involved in managing the refugee crisis and providing care to refugees, as Slovenia received nearly 10,000 people. Another 4300 people had arrived in Slovenia by noon today.
At today's press conference in Brežice on the refugee issue, the speakers talked about the current situation on the Slovenian-Croatian border. State Secretary at the Interior Ministry, Boštjan Šefic, explained that temporary barriers extending over 4.5 kilometres were set up on the border with Croatia yesterday, and the work was continuing today.
At the same time, Slovenia is improving the accommodation conditions for refugees in all reception and accommodation centres. The activities are aimed at expanding heated accommodation capacities.
At a press conference on the refugee crisis earlier today, the Slovenian Prime Minister, Miro Cerar, announced the government’s decision to start erecting temporary physical barriers on the Schengen border with Croatia. The PM underlined that “The border remains open, but under strict control. The sole purpose of these temporary physical barriers will be to prevent the dispersal of refugees and to steer them towards controlled entry points,” Cerar explained.
“A very constructive and beneficial meeting was held yesterday with representatives of 20 non-governmental organisations which are assisting in the management of the refugee crisis. The government listened to their suggestions and warnings, and a number of agreements have been made on their basis to improve the reception and accommodation of refugees and migrants,” the State Secretary at the Ministry of the Interior, Boštjan Šefic, told at press conference today.
The accommodation centre in Šentilj, the point of exit from Slovenia with the heaviest refugee traffic, has up to 7000 people passing through it each day. According to the staff running the centre, all the people accommodated there are well taken care of. Some 160 to 200 people are caring for the refugees at the centre each day, not counting members of the police. The refugee reception procedure is conducted by the police with the support of the Armed Forces and at least one Arabic, Kurdish and Iraqi interpreter assisting at all times.
"If control of the external borders of the European Union is not effective soon and the great wave of migration continues, Slovenia may soon face uncontrollable numbers of migrants, particularly if Germany and Austria begin to limit their intake," Prime Minister Cerar said at today's press conference. He added that in this case, Slovenia would strengthen control of the Schengen border, which would include the use of a physical barrier, even a fence if necessary.
"Having thoroughly inspected the Šentilj accommodation centre this morning, I can assure you that the centre is well-organised and operating effectively, especially considering the fact that it accommodates over 4000 refugees and migrants at times," the State Secretary at the Ministry of the Interior, Boštjan Šefic, told the press at the conference earlier today.