Slovenia says regional countries agree to limit refugee flow

Slovenia police say regional countries agree to limit refugee flow to 580 refugees per day per country

Photo by: Reuters (Archive)
Photo by: Reuters (Archive)

Police officers escort Fatima from Syria (front) and other refugees as they make their way on foot after crossing the Croatian-Slovenian border, in Rigonce, Slovenia, October 22, 2015.

Slovenian police said on Friday that police chiefs of Slovenia, Austria, Macedonia, Serbia and Croatia have agreed to limit refugee flow to about 580 refugees per day.

The police chiefs are "obliged to limit daily transit through Western Balkans countries to a number which would enable a control of every migrant according to Schengen rules," the police said on Friday in a statement to Reuters.

Around 475,000 refugees have arrived in Slovenia, a small Alpine country, since October, when Hungary closed its border with Croatia and pushed the refugee route west. Most refugees continue on to Austria and other northern European states.

The daily cost of handling refugees for Slovenia is 770,000 euros ($856,000) said Slovenian Interior Minister Vesna Gyorkos Znidar to illustrate the pressure on a nation of just 2 million, after the influx in October 2015.

Hundreds of thousands of refugees have made short-but-perilous journeys using unsafe boats over the past year in an attempt to reach northern Europe in hope of a better life.

According to the International Organization for Migration (IOM), more than 1.1 million refugees arrived in Europe last year, more than 850,000 of those arrived by sea to Greece from Turkey.

The change in the limit of daily refugee flow can lead to further pressures in Greece where thousands are already stuck.

TRTWorld and agencies