Slovenia is not against Austria putting up a fence by the border crossing Spielfeld/Sentilj, used so far by the largest number of migrants, despite claims that this should be a wake up call to the government led by Prime Minister Miro Cerar.
Commenting on Monday on the beginning of work on setting up the fence, the Slovenian foreign ministry said it was a temporary measure agreed between the two countries in order to direct the migrant wave in a more efficient way.
That the measure is not unexpected is evidenced by the fact that Austria has started building a new refugee centre near the border crossing on its territory, which means that it will continue receiving refugees, the Slovenian foreign ministry has said.
On the other hand, Slovenian opposition parties have warned Cerar on several occasions that Slovenia could find itself shut out from the Schengen area of passport-free travel because it is letting too many refugees cross the border into Austria without thoroughly checking them.
The Opposition claims that the Austrian fence is a warning sign.
Former foreign minister Dimitrij Rupel told an opposition news portal that for Slovenia to prevent its exclusion from the Schengen area after a mini Schengen area is formed – a measure that has been speculated about for some time now – it should step up refugee control on its border with Croatia.
Slovenia should only be letting in migrants with a passport and a Schengen visa, Rupel said, calling on the EU to help Slovenia control the border with Croatia along which Slovenian authorities have already put 110 kilometres of barbed wire fence to direct the migrant flow more efficiently.