Italy Seeks Meeting With Slovenia, Croatia, on ‘Balkan Route’ Migration
As the number of migrants arriving in Rijeka, Croatia, near the Slovenian and Italian borders, rises to some 200 a day, Italy has called for a three-way Italian-Slovenian-Croatian meeting in Rome to discuss ways to tighten border controls.
Italian Foreign Minister Antonio Tajanion on Friday announced that a meeting will be held "in Rome in the coming weeks with Slovenia and Croatia to find a form of collaboration regarding the [migrants'] 'Balkan route'."
The announcement followed a meeting in Ljubljana between the Italian minister and his Slovenian counterpart, Tanja Fajon, where the two discussed migration.
Italy has been talking for months about a "high-level meeting" on the so-called "Balkan route" of migration to address an issue that the right-wing Rome government has been prioritizing without success since it came to power following September 2022 elections.
Prior to the meeting, sources cited by Slovenian news agency Sta suggested that joint Slovenian-Croatian-Italian police patrols were being considered among the options for better control of the borders.
Fajon told Tajani: "We are looking at ways for Italy, Slovenia and Croatia to jointly secure the external Schengen border". Croatia joined the passport-free Schengen area in January.
Gordana Brkic Zagar, spokeswoman for the City of Rijeka, told BIRN the city was feeding and offering other forms of help to up to 200 arrivals a day.
"Since October 25, 2022, the City of Rijeka has financed the preparation and distribution of 200 meals a day for migrants, and from March 1, 2023, Caritas of the Archdiocese of Rijeka took over the financing the meals. The area where the migrants stay is regularly cleaned and a sanitary station has been set up where the migrants...
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