Slovenia says tougher EU border checks 'unacceptable'

2017-04-09 19:18
People wait in their cars and trucks in long queues at the Obrezje border crossing point between Slovenia and Croatia. (Jure Makovec, AFP)

People wait in their cars and trucks in long queues at the Obrezje border crossing point between Slovenia and Croatia. (Jure Makovec, AFP)

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Ljubljana - Newly-introduced tougher checks on the EU's external borders aimed at stopping suspected Islamist fighters from Iraq and Syria are "unacceptable" and should be amended, says Slovenian Prime Minister Miro Cerar.

The new checks produced traffic chaos over the weekend on the Slovenia-Croatia border, a key bottleneck on the so-called Balkan migrant trail shut down last year.

"The implementation of the EU's directive on the border with Croatia has caused totally intolerable conditions over the last few days," Cerar said in a statement on his Twitter account.

He spoke to Croatian Prime Minister Andrej Plenkovic and both "agreed that the situation is unacceptable," he said.

Border crossings

"Slovenia and Croatia will present proposals to the European Commission to .. satisfactorily change this regulation as soon as possible," he said.

From Friday the EU ordered systematic checks at the external borders of the Schengen passport-free area under legislation designed to tackle "foreign fighters" returning from Iraq and Syria.

Only hours after they took effect backed-up lines of cars and buses began forming at the main border crossings between Slovenia - a member of the Schengen area - and non-member Croatia.

The chaos frustrated many holidaymakers from Austria, Germany and Switzerland who spent hours in queues waiting to head to southern Europe for the Easter or spring holiday break.

Slovenia controls 670km of the EU's external border with Croatia and was a key transit country along the so-called Balkan migrant trail until the route was shut in March last year.
Read more on:    eu  |  croatia  |  slovenia  |  migrants

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