Interior minister says Croatia hasn't become hotspot for refugees

Outgoing Minister of the Interior Ranko Ostojic has responded on his Facebook account to Croatian Democratic Union (HDZ) official Miro Kovac's statement that Croatia will not and must not become a collection centre for refuges and will close its border if necessary, by saying that Croatia has not become a hot spot so far and that once Kovac comes to power, "a decision on that will be made by someone else."

"I heard his statement... and I can see that he has been doing some copying. Miro Kovac says that he was asked by the Germans why (Croatia's) national police director did not attend a recent meeting of the Austrian and Slovenian police chiefs. A better question would be why there were no German representatives there, it is, after all, supposed to be a joint operation... but don't worry, Croatia has not become a hot spot so far, and when Kovac comes (to power), someone else will be deciding about that," Ostojic said on his Facebook account, attaching to his message a link to the outgoing government's web page that carried his interview with the Jutarnji List daily of September 2015, headlined "Croatia Will Not Become Hot Spot and Collection Centre for Refugees".

Kovac, the HDZ's secretary for international relations, said on Saturday that Croatia could not be an EU collection centre for refugees and that it would have to be very tough and efficient, and if necessary, close the border and physically protect it.

If Slovenia and Austria close their borders to refugees, Croatia will have to do the same. That will cause a domino effect and Serbia will have to do the same with Macedonia, Kovac said in an interview with Croatian Television commenting on possible moves by the new government in dealing with the refugee crisis as pressure was increasing on German Chancellor Angela Merkel to scrap the open-door policy towards refugees.

Croatia cannot be a long-term EU collection centre for refugees because those people do not want to stay in Croatia but want to move on to northern Europe, the HDZ official said, adding that the outgoing government had fallen out with the neighbours and failed to show efficiency. Kovac said that he met with Prime Minister-Designate Tihomir Oreskovic several times and that Oreskovic told him that during his visit to Kitzbuehel, the Austrians asked him why there had been no Croatian representatives at the meeting of Austrian and Slovenian police chiefs.

Last update: Sun, 17/01/2016 - 15:40


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