Foreign Minister Vesna Pusic and representatives of 35 diplomatic offices in Croatia on Wednesday visited a temporary transit refugee camp being built in Slavonski Brod in eastern Croatia.
Camp commander Miljenko Kovacevic said he could not say when exactly the camp would be finished, as it depended on the weather. He said this camp would provide “much better conditions” than the one in Opatovac.
Pusic and the diplomats visited the Opatovac camp earlier in the day.
“People will stay here 12, 24, 48 hours maximum. This pressure will last until an agreement is reached between the European Union and Turkey,” she told reporters in Slavonski Brod, adding that an agreement was being worked on that would include organisational and material aid to Turkey, Jordan and Lebanon.
Pusic said that if Germany, the destination of all migrants, closed its border, their transit would be stopped. “If Germany closed its borders, it would cause the closing of (other) borders.”
European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker convened a meeting in Brussels on Sunday at which the leaders of the countries on the Balkan migrant route – Austria, Bulgaria, Croatia, Macedonia, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Romania, Serbia and Slovenia – will agree measures which can be applied immediately.
Pusic said the meeting should agree that as long as migrants kept on arriving, countries should help each other instead of fighting. “It’s pointless to say, ‘We can’t receive them’. The question is only how many can Germany receive. In these circumstances, Schengen and Dublin rules can’t apply because this situation is out of the ordinary.”
“We are impressed by what we have seen… The change of location is good, so that the people who have to spend time here can do so in proper conditions,” the head of the European Commission Representation in Croatia, Branko Baricevic, said after visiting the Opatovac and Slavonski Brod camps.
The transit camp in Slavonski Brod will be able to take up to 5,000 migrants and 500 people will be hired for its operation.