Slovenia passes law allowing migrant border pushbacks
28 Jan 2017 - 2:49
Ljubljana: SLOVENIA approved a bill allowing police to seal border with Croatia to migrants in case of a new influx along the so-called Balkan route, sparking condemnation from rights groups.
Under the new legislation, Slovenian authorities can reject asylum seekers directly at the frontier with non-Schengen member Croatia if migrant numbers suddenly rise and “threaten public order and internal security”.
The bill mirrors tough measures adopted over the past two years by neighbouring Hungary and Austria following eruption in 2015 of Europe’s worst migration crisis since World War II.
Centre-left Prime Minister Miro Cerar said it was an “extreme measure we have to prepare in case it’s needed”.
Hundreds of thousands of refugees risked their lives at sea and trekked up from Greece as they tried to reach western and northern Europe before the Balkan route was largely shut down last March.
Slovenia—which controls 670km of the visa-free area’s external border—became a key transit country in late 2015 when Hungary closed its borders to asylum seekers.