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Slovenia steps up pressure on Croatia over Schengen border control

Slovenia is asking its neighbor to strengthen security at the EU’s external border amid an almost threefold increase in migration.

Interior Minister Boštjan Poklukar, in a telephone conversation with Croatian his counterpart Davor Božinović, said on Wednesday that local residents living along the border are concerned about the growing number of migrants.

Poklukar visited the border area in Brežice this weekend. Local residents complained to him about the huge number of migrants, because of which they cannot feel safe.

In order to strengthen border controls, Slovenia deployed additional police patrols, a helicopter and technical surveillance at the border. Poklukar suggested Božinović to do the same to ensure the protection of the external border of the European Union.

“Continuous close cooperation of the countries’ police forces is important in the fight against people smuggling on the Western Balkans route.”

Both ministers agreed that the EU should make more efforts to prevent illegal migration and strengthen cooperation with partner states.

Slovenian police had recorded almost 26,900 illegal migrants by the end of July. During the same period last year, authorities recorded 10,100 fewer cases of illegal border crossings.

20% of the total number of illegal immigrants are Afghans. More than 70% of all cases are border crossings in the territory controlled by the Novo Mesto Police Department in southeastern Slovenia.

The Slovenian authorities are not yet discussing the resumption of police checks on the Croatian border.

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