Slovenia border move shows need to secure EU external frontier: Merkel

10th November 2015, Comments 0 comments

Germany's Chancellor Angela Merkel on Tuesday urged the European Union to secure its external frontiers to slow the migrant influx, saying this could have saved Slovenia from tightening its border with fellow EU-member Croatia.

The situation in Slovenia underlines "the urgency with which we have to work towards a common European solution, and that means securing the external borders," said Merkel.

"If the problem on the external border between Turkey and Greece could be solved, then Slovenia would not have had to take such measures," she added.

Slovenia's Prime Minister Miro Cerar said his country would in the coming days construct "temporary technical obstacles" on its border with Croatia in order to better manage the influx.

The small EU country has been struggling to cope with the arrival of more than 170,000 migrants bound for northern Europe since mid-October.

Slovenia last month suddenly found itself on the main route for thousands of migrants travelling to northern Europe after Hungary sealed its borders.

Merkel said the development in Slovenia also highlighted the urgency of EU President Donald Tusk's decision to hold informal consultations to "find solutions to better protect our external borders", in a meeting to follow an EU-Africa summit on Thursday.

EU states have bickered for months over a joint solution to the continent's worst migration crisis since World War II.

The bloc has also sought help from Turkey to better police its border with EU member Greece.

The border has become a key gateway into Europe for Syrians and others fleeing war and poverty in the Middle East and South Asia.

© 2015 AFP

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