On November 10th 2015 at the ”emergency” government assembly in Slovenia Slovenian prime minister Miro Cerar announced that the government with its ministers agreed on the establishment of the barbed wire, or what they politically correct call ‘technical obstacles‘, at the Croatian-Slovenian border. He announced that since Germany and Austria are tightening their asylum systems and threatening to let less and less people through their borders, Slovenia could experience a ”humanitarian crisis”, as the winter is comming and the country doesn’t possess enough infrastructure and resources. This is not just an egoistic move from the Slovenian supposedly centric government which by its own account promotes ”human rights and values”, but is a important part of the developing European Union’s immigration and asylum system. The move of building of the fence also comes after the end of the Greek fairy workers strike, which according to the mainstream media, temporarly slowed down the influx of people. After the strike, Slovenian minister of external affairs Karl Erjavec announced by its own sources that 30.000 are already on the way to Slovenia.
In the last week(s) there has been an establishment of the ‘official corridor’ through the so called Balkan route. This intergovernmental agreement’s aim is to control the flow of people who are fleeing for a better life in Europe. Even though it may sound as an improvement, for the better fluctuation of people, it is one of the steps of the development of the common European Union’s immigration system. The institutionalization of the corridor, which was before established by the constructive forces of incomming people and self-organized activists through the mutual struggle, means new forms of exclusive inclusion to the territory of the EU.
The aim of the so called official corridor is, as mentioned in the previous article, to let a certain number of people to the next country, where usually full EU member states (as Austria and Slovenia) hold a privileged position. This of course doesn’t always work as the number of people and their struggle to reach the desired destination is not manageble by such system. The reason for its establishment is always the discourse of security and liberal humanitarism of the EU and seperate member states. Political functionaries as well as repressive organs are saying, that if we don’t manage the flows well, it could come to the chaos and collapse of the EU. The only chaos in this case is the creative chaos of the incoming people who produce fear for the privileged economical and political castes that are responsible for the suffering of the wide majority of the worlds population. Continue reading
This video was taken in Dobova (Slovenia) a few days ago. This is not just a sole example of the mistreatment of the incoming people. The situations in camps change through days – sometimes they are empty and next day filled with new people arriving from Croatia.
The situation at Šentilj/Spielfeld (Slovenian-Austrian border) is different, as people often get trapped in ‘no-mans land’ between Slovenian and Austrian borders, while waiting for the permission to cross the border. ‘Officially’ people have the possibility to stay in camps, but due to the lack of information, it is often though that waiting at the ‘no-mans land’ will result in the quicker crossing of the border. This often develops in the long hour waiting in the cold weather.
We must demand open borders for everyone!
On October 15 2015 Hungary finally decided to close its border passage Botovo with Croatia, where the “more formal coridor” for the flow of people, temporary established by inter-governmental agreements, took place, changing the direction of the so called balkan route. Instead of going through Croatia to Hungary the route is redirected to Slovenia, where people are registered, before taken to Austrian border (slov. Šentilj/ ger. Spielfeld).
Activist which are at the Slovenian borders and registration camps are reporting, that the authorities are taking fingerprints from the incoming people at the Gruškovje registration camp, but not at Petišovci. This information is not entirely clear, but it is worth to take into account that your fingerprints can be sent to EURODAC. Because of this, predominantly non-Syrians, can be effected by the Dublin convention – this means: if you claim asylum in other EU country, they can return you to Slovenia.
Who can be affected:
- your fingerprints were taken in another country (and stored on a common European database called EURODAC)
- you admit that you have been to, or travelled through, another country, even if you didn’t give your fingerprints
- it can be shown by some other source of evidence that you have been to, or travelled through another country
- it can be shown that you were previously issued a visa for an EU country
- you tell the authorities that you wish to join your spouse, who is an asylum seeker or a refugee in another country
In case this happens to you and if you are non-Syrian citizen, you will need legal aid.
Situation in Slovenia (18.10.2015), reports from activists:
Our group on the field successfully set up an Info point in Petišovci. It is located next to the big registration tent. The situation regarding the access to the registration centres is varying. While there were no bigger problems in Petišovci, nobody external was allowed to enter the registration centre in Središče ob Dravi.
The other type of centres are accommodation centres. One is located in Šentilj (Spielfeld), the other in Gornja Radgona. These ones are being used at the moment, there are roughly about 20 more all over Slovenia which can be used if needed. These are being managed by the Civil Protection (Civilna zaščita), while the registration centres are being managed by the police. In addition to the registration centres in Petišovci and Središče ob Dravi there are more registration centres in Obrežje, Gruškovje and Dolga vas.
It seems the access to both types of centres might become an issue. Volunteers would be able to enter the accommodation centres via the Slovene Philanthropy and NGO Adre. This does not apply for the registration centres, where the access is even more restricted.
Based on the conversations with the refugees they mostly need information and the possibility to communicate. They fear what fingerprinting them means, whether it serves as a ground for deportation, they don’t know where they are and would like to inform their families regarding their situation. There’s no wifi network, chargers, multiple socket outlets, etc. in none of the centres. The medical staff in Petišovci complains that they aren’t allowed to hand out warm milk to the kids. One Austrian group offered to cook tea, with hesitation the head of the Red Cross agreed. This group already leaves today.
In short, the government agencies are declining external independent help. As a result of their limited capacities regarding the reception of refugees the flow has been slowed down, so they get stuck on the Balkan route, subjected to the cold and abuse and being blocked to to leave hazardous zones. Continue reading
The category of Border monitoring will be used to give reports about the flow of people throught the borders of the so called “Balkan route”. The route watch will mostly include borders and registration centers between Bulgaria, Macedonia, Serbia, Croatia, Hungary, Slovenia and Austria.
All information will be first-hand and forwarded from the groups of activists and volunteers (from sites such as Anti-Racist Front Without Borders from Slovenia, Open Borders Caravan that are located on the borders. The aim of the Border monitoring is not only to report on happening on mentioned borders and to give coordinates for the humanitarian aid, but also to make the recent flow of people (what the EU, its member states and mainstream media calls ‘refugee crisis’) a politically relevant question which adresses the discriminatory and xenophobic imigration and asylum policies within the EU, as well as its connection with the neoliberal developments. Open borders for all!
First post will outline the thoughts by some activists from the Anti-Racist Front Without Borders (Slovenia), who were in the past month present at the Slovenian, Macedonian, Serbian, Croatian and Hungarian borders. Continue reading
19. September, 2015
At the border at Rigonce (Slovenia/Croatia) there where first bigger waves of refugees. At 17.30 and there were around 100, but 3 hours later, there were at least 500-600 at that small border. At the Bregana border crossing there were already 800 people and up to today there are around 2000-3000. They are already transported to Slovenian asylum centers, camps etc.
Slovenian side of the border was packed with 100-150 robocops and they didn’t let anyone through. Slovenian government gave a clear massage that it closed it’s borders, even before people came. They also used teargas once and their batons. Currently they are letting inside families, mostly women and children, and are separating men from them. People are tired, but extremly filled with positive energy, they showed that struggle for freedom is unstoppable.
Activists are really organized, but situation changes from hour to hour.
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