A Slovenian police officer monitors the country's border | Photo: Dana Alboz/ InfoMigrants
A Slovenian police officer monitors the country's border | Photo: Dana Alboz/ InfoMigrants

Slovenian police have detained a Syrian national, alleged to have transported 17 migrants using irregular means. The foreign minister meanwhile announced that Slovenia would start to tear down a razor wire fortification on its border with Croatia.

Earlier this week, police in Slovenia intercepted a van with 17 migrants on board in the northeast of the country. 

The vehicle with an Austrian license plate was packed with mainly Afghan and Iranian migrants, who since have been moved to an asylum reception center, according to The Associated Press (AP).

The driver of the van was detained, and is now facing smuggling charges.

Migrant crossings in Slovenia have been on the rise compared to the previous year, according to the latest government information.

Read more: Balkan Route: The forgotten refugees

A new approach to migration

Slovenia's new government, which was elected in April, is trying to take a more measured stance on migration. Though being located on the so-called Balkan route, the government has vowed to remove the razor wire on its border with Croatia. 

It is expected to take some weeks to take down the 200-kilometer fence. Slovenian Foreign Minister Tanja Fajon said that it will be a "gradual process," adding that the reason for removing the fence was "so that people who come here will not have accidents and misfortunes."

"However, we will continue to provide protection and security along this section of the border," Fajon added. Officials have also stated in the past that the border will be monitored by drones in the future.

The wire had been erected as a response to increased migrant arrivals in 2015 and 2016, when more than one million people entered the European Union in less than a year.

Read more: Shoe factory donates shoes for migrants on the Balkan route

With AP

 

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