Minister: Croatia honoured deal with Slovenia but migrants were met by dogs and fences

Croatian Interior Minister Ranko Ostojic said in Opatovac on Tuesday that Croatia had honoured agreements with Slovenia but that migrants were met with dogs and fences, saying that Croatia was asking that half of the migrants arriving be transported to Slovenia while Croatia was prepared to keep the other half in the reception centre.

"Croatia has respected the agreements with Slovenia but there were dogs and fences at locations where those people should have been transported," Ostojic said adding that Croatia had sent an official request to Slovenia to determine at what locations it will receive migrants and refugees arriving from Croatia.

"They said they were ready for a meeting, but there is no time for meetings," Ostojic said adding that Croatia was asking that half of the refugees and migrants arriving in Croatia be transported towards Slovenia, while Croatia was prepared to keep the other half in the reception centre.

"We cannot allow that someone says that we can no longer receive them. Croatia has so far safeguard its interests and we will keep safeguarding them. We are not responsible if someone does not want to cooperate in that segment," he added.

According to the latest figures provided by the Interior Ministry, 204,126 migrants have entered Croatia since mid-September when the crisis started.

Minister Ostojic said Croatia was prepared to transport refugees and migrants directly to the Slovenian-Austrian border crossing at Sentilj.

Asked about a reported Plan D and the building of a fence towards Serbia, Ostojic recalled Prime Minister Zoran Milanovic's statement that not one option was excluded.

"Those who were affected the most -- Germany, Austria and Slovenia -- were against building fences. So don't talk about Plan D while we are still realising current plans, Ostojic said reiterating that he was against sending military troops to the border because "no army or fence has so far managed to successfully stop the refugee influx."

Asked about the reasons for rationing the flow of refugees from Serbia to Croatia, Ostojic said Croatia was an organised country. "This refers to police tactics, let them do their job," the minister said adding that the police had a system in line with which groups consisting of 50 migrants were transported by buses.

"But when there is no order on the other side, this immediately slows down the reception," he said adding that Croatia asked Serbia to organise the crossing of refugees in groups.

Ostojic said that those attempting to illegally cross the green border through corn fields would be the last ones to be admitted adding that they were also risking being sent back to Serbia.

According to figures collected by 0900 hours, 2,600 refugees and migrants were currently stationed at the Opatovac reception centre.

Last update: Sat, 24/10/2015 - 19:37

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