Up to 60 guards will be employed to assist police after more than 76,000 migrants and refugees arrived from Croatia in less than a fortnight
Slovenia is planning to employ private security firms to help manage the flow of thousands of migrants and refugees travelling through the country toward northern Europe, a senior official has said. Boštjan Šefic, state secretary at the interior ministry, said 50-60 private security guards would assist the police where necessary.
More than 76,000 people have arrived in Slovenia from Croatia in the past 10 days. More than 9,000 were in Slovenia on Monday, hoping to reach Austria by the end of the day, while many more were on their way to Slovenia from Croatiaand Serbia.
The emergency measure was announced by the prime minister, who described the migrant crisis as the biggest challenge yet to the EU. “If a joint solution is not found, [the trade bloc] will start breaking up,” Miro Cerar warned.
About 2,000 migrants waited in a field in Rigonce on the Croatian border on Monday for buses to take them to a nearby camp to be registered before they are allowed to proceed north.
One refugee, Bashir, 20, a film student from Raqqa in Syria, said: “All of my nearest and dearest have left Syria and my family is doing the same. It is not safe there any more. I want to finish my studies in Norway or Finland and find a decent job.”
Afghan teacher Ali Hussani, 35, said he wanted to go to Germany with his wife and their six-month-old son. “I am worried that Germany may send us back home. That would not be fair,” he said. “Afghanistan is in the same situation as Syria … The Taliban killed my brother and they will kill me too if I return.”
Slovenia, the smallest country on the Balkan migration route, has brought in the army to help police. Other EU states have pledged to send a total of 400 police officers this week to help manage the flow of people. Over the past 24 hours, 8,000 people arrived in Serbia en route to northern Europe, the UN refugee agency, UNHCR, said.
Central and eastern European leaders who met in Brussels on Sunday agreed to increase reception capacity in Greece and other Balkan states and bolster efforts to facilitate the return of migrants who did not require international protection.