Slovenia Follows Hungary in Building Fence to Shut Out Migrants

  • Many avoiding Hungary's razor wire travel through Slovenia
  • Premier Cerrar says aim is to avert "humanitarian catastrophe"

Slovenia will start building “technical barriers" on its border with fellow European Union member Croatia, taking a cue from Hungary which diverted people seeking refuge to neighboring countries by building fortifications.

Slovenia, on the southeastern edge of the European Union’s Schengen travel zone, was expecting as many as 30,000 migrants in the coming days, Prime Minister Miro Cerar said on Tuesday. More than 171,000 people fleeing conflicts in the Middle East and beyond have entered Slovenia already, according to police.

"As a man I don’t wish to build technical barriers, but as a prime minister I have a duty to prevent a humanitarian catastrophe,” Cerar told reporters in the capital Ljubljana. “The flow of migrants for a country of 2 million residents is just too big.”

With hundreds of thousands of refugees arriving by sea and land this year and tens of thousands more on their way, EU governments are grappling with a crisis on a scale not seen since the 1940s. Some, like Germany, have offered shelter, while others responded by closing borders and building fences or shuttling migrants across frontiers for other countries to deal with.

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