Slovenia beefs up border police as migration surge expected

LJUBLJANA, Slovenia (AP) — Slovenia has sent some 1,000 additional police to the border with Croatia amid an expected surge in migration toward Western Europe with the easing of lockdown measures against the new coronavirus, authorities said Tuesday.

Police at the border are using surveillance drones, thermal cameras, motion detection cameras and helicopters, Slovenia's Deputy Police Commissioner Joze Senica told a press conference near the border.

Police said the military are assisting in border monitoring, along with specialized border control units and police dogs.

Slovenia’s right-wing Prime Minister Janez Jansa and his Slovenian Democratic Party are staunchly anti-immigration. Also illustrating anti-migrant sentiment in the country, citizens’ groups have been patrolling the border with Croatia to help stem the influx.

Migrants fleeing violence and poverty in their home countries enter Slovenia from Croatia, hoping to proceed toward neighboring Austria or Italy and from there to other prosperous European Union countries.

Senica said increased migrant movement along the so-called Balkan route has been detected in the past two weeks. He said some 10,000 people in Serbia and Bosnia are looking for ways to move toward the EU.

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