Slovenia, Croatia, Serbia begin closure of Balkan route

Zagreb, March 9 (IANS) Slovenia, Croatia and Serbia on Wednesday started implementing border restrictions to reinstate the Schengen rules, which means the effective closure of the Balkan route against refugees.

This measure does not entail any change in the borders of these countries because only small amounts of refugees have been arriving after the closure of the Macedonian borders with Greece in late February, according to Slovenian media.

The Slovenian interior ministry announced in a statement that migration will no longer be allowed through the Balkan route effective from Tuesday midnight, EFE news reported.

The three countries will not permit the passage of large numbers of refugees by trains or buses, as happened in recent months, while each person will be subjected to individual monitoring.

After the European Union summit with Turkey on the refugee crisis held on Monday in Brussels, Slovenian Prime Minister Miro Cerar announced that his country will receive 40 to 50 refugees a month from the Middle East, or some 570 refugees a year, as per the quotas agreed earlier.

Croatia, which is not a Schengen member, has followed the example of Slovenia to deny the entry of those who do not have proper documentation.

Serbia has also introduced the same restrictions after Slovenia informed Belgrade that it would restore the Schengen rules.

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