Slovenia is planning to employ private security firms to help the tiny mountainous country of 2 million manage the flow of tens of thousands of refugees entering the country on their way to countries in northern Europe.
Boštjan Šefic, state secretary at the interior ministry, said 50-60 private security guards would help the country’s small police force where and when necessary.
Slovenia has become a major corridor for refugees arriving from Croatia after Hungary had closed its border with Croatia. In the past ten days, nearly 80,000 refugees have reached the Croatia-Slovenia border, and 9,000 were allowed to enter Slovenia yesterday and continue their journey to Austria.
Tens of thousands more are trudging their way through Serbia and Croatia, hoping to reach Slovenia.
Yahoo News reports that the emergency measure was announced by the Slovenian prime minister, who described the migrant crisis as the most threatening challenge yet to the EU. “If a joint solution is not found, [the trade bloc] will start breaking up,” Miro Cerar warned.
Slovenia, the smallest country Balkan country on the refugees route, has also decided to bring in its military to help the police and border agents. In their mini-summit on Sunday, other EU members have committed themselves to sending 400 police officers from different EU countries before the end of the week to help the small Slovenian police force cope with the wave of refugees.
The central and eastern European countries which took part in Sunday’s mini-summit in Brussels agreed to increase reception capacity in Greece and other Balkan states and strengthen efforts to facilitate the return of refugees who did not need international protection.