Ljubljana related

14 Jun 2019, 12:08 PM

STA, 13 June 2019 - The government adopted on Thursday a decree updating Slovenia's list of safe countries from 2016. The list has three new names, while Turkey has been removed from it. This means that Slovenia will no longer return migrants or extradite suspects to Turkey.

The new list contains 14 countries: Albania, Algeria, Bangladesh, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Egypt, Kosovo, Montenegro, Morocco, North Macedonia, Serbia, Tunisia, and newcomers Georgia, Nepal and Senegal.

A third country, meaning a non-EU member, is considered safe if it can be assumed, based on several factors, that in general it does not see persecution, torture, inhumane or degrading treatment or punishment, and that people there are not in danger due to an international or internal conflict.

There was a push last year to remove Turkey from the list after Slovenia rejected the asylum applications 38 Turks even though they had fled Turkey for fear of persecution, but the motion was rejected at committee by the previous parliament.

The move comes about a month and a half after Swedish news portal Nordic Monitor reported that the Turkish Embassy in Ljubljana spied on critics of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan living in the country, likely believed to be the followers of Islamic preacher Fethullah Gülen, who the Turkish authorities believe was behind the failed 2016 coup d'etat.

06 Jun 2019, 14:50 PM

STA, 6 June 2019 - Slovenia has so far welcomed almost 300 refugees based on EU solidarity schemes, some from other EU members and others from third countries, government data shows.

As part of the relocation scheme, Slovenian had pledged to accept 567 applicants for international protection from Greece and Italy, but eventually accepted 253 during the scheme's duration in 2016-2018.

As for the resettlement programme for migrants residing in non-EU countries, Slovenia had pledged to accept 60 people, but eventually accepted only 34, all from Turkey.

Of the 253 foreigners relocated from Greece and Italy, 152 were Syrian citizens, 77 Eritrean, 17 Iraqi and one Yemeni citizen, whereas six were without citizenship.

A total of 234 foreigners were granted the refugee status and eleven subsidiary protection, the Interior Ministry said.

Five foreigners were denied international protection, one person was stripped of the refugee status, and the procedure was aborted in three cases, it added.

The majority of relocated refugees reside in the areas of Maribor and Ljubljana, whereas 47 left Slovenia after receiving the status, data from the Office for the Support and Integration of Migrants show.

Six Syrian families came to live in Slovenia as part of the resettlement scheme, which was carried out under the UN wing. All of them live in Maribor's integration centre.

All refugees accepted as part of the two schemes have taken part in a special three-month programme designed to facilitate their living.

As part of "the orientation programme", refugees learn the basics of Slovenian language, get to know various social systems in the country and get assistance in finding housing.

Although both schemes ended in 2018, Slovenia still occasionally expresses solidarity to share the burden of refugees with other EU countries.

Just recently the government has decided to accept up to five asylum seekers who meet the requirements for international protection from Italy.

In February, it decided to accept five asylum seekers from Malta, but they are yet to arrive here, while it accepted eight refugees from this island country in 2010.

16 May 2019, 12:00 PM

Looking through a recent report on immigration and Slovenia, we found an interesting table at the end, created using Eurostat data, showing the number of foreign citizens registered as resident in Slovenia by country of birth. The headline news was that out of total of 2,066,880 people living in Slovenia (as of January 2018), 250,226 were born in another country, with the vast majority (86%) being from other Ex-Yugoslavian nations.

Related: The places where foreigners live in Slovenia and where they come from (July 2016 data)

Since such figures are of obvious interest to our readers, we reproduce them below in two forms. First, place of birth ranked by number of residents, and second (here) in alphabetical order. Note that continents and regions are also included in the data, and we know that Africa is not a country.

Place of birth, by number

Slovenia 1,816,654

Bosnia and Herzegovina 107,676

Croatia 44,994

Serbia 25,372

Northern Macedonia 17,128

Kosovo 17,050

Germany 7,255

Italy 4,136

Montenegro 3,344

Russia 3,009

Asia 2,966

Austria 2,641

Ukraine 2,495

America 2,358

Bulgaria 1,241

North America 1,140

East Asia 1,123

France 1,119

China including Hong Kong 977

Switzerland 922

South America 832

Africa 822

United States 768

United Kingdom 642

West Asia 554

Slovakia 541

South East Asia 529

South Asia 464

Hungary 429

Argentina 413

Romania 407

Poland 392

Canada 372

Oceania 372

Australia and New Zealand 368

Czech Republic 363

Moldova 361

Australia 342

Netherlands 336

North Africa 333

Sweden 324

Belgium 308

Central Asia 296

Caribbean 288

Thailand 269

West Africa 214

Syria 199

Belarus 192

Kazakhstan 187

Dominican

Republic of 185

Turkey 184

India 181

Spain 179

Brazil 165

East Africa 164

Philippines 150

Iran 143

Egypt 127

Albania 126

Greece 119

Central America 98

Iraq 93

Japan 87

Cuba 85

Mexico 78

Tunisia 78

Venezuela 75

Uzbekistan 70

Denmark 68

Nigeria 64

South Africa 62

Jordan 60

Portugal 59

Ireland 58

South Africa (Rep.) 58

Ghana 56

Indonesia 56

Peru 56

Central Africa 49

Colombia 49

Libya 47

Pakistan 46

Lithuania 46

Israel 42

Luxembourg 41

Afghanistan 38

Finland 37

Algeria 37

Chile 36

South Korea 35

Kenya 33

Morocco 31

Guinea-Bissau 31

Lebanon 30

Nepal 28

New Zealand 27

Eritrea 26

Somalia 25

Azerbaijan 25

Georgia 24

Norway 23

Cameroon 23

Estonia 22

Vietnam 22

Taiwan 22

Saudi Arabia 21

Gambia 20

Kyrgyzstan 13

Madagascar 18

Armenia 18

Sri Lanka 17

United Arab Emirates 17

Ethiopia 16

Zimbabwe 15

Yemen 15

Uruguay 14

Bangladesh 13

Kuwait 12

Sudan 12

Turkmenistan 12

Bolivia 12

Democratic Republic of Congo 11

Malaysia 11

Ecuador 11

Liberia 10

Liechtenstein 10

Singapore 9

Tajikistan 9

Congo 9

Cambodia 8

Cyprus 7

Guinea 7

Jamaica 7

Malta 7

Mauritius 7

Zambia 7

Burkina Faso 7

Iceland 6

Costa Rica 6

Sierra Leone 5

Uganda 5

Belize 5

Burundi 4

Cape Verde 4

Mali 4

Mongolia 4

Mozambique 4

Nicaragua 4

Palestine 4

Senegal 4

Trinidad and Tobago 4

Angola 4

Ivory Coast 3

Honduras 3

Laos 3

Malawi 3

Melanesia 3

Namibia 3

Paraguay 3

Tanzania 3

Barbados 3

Central African Republic 2

Guyana 2

Haiti 2

Myanmar / Burma 2

Panama 2

Papua New Guinea 2

Qatar 2

Rwanda 2

Western Sahara 2

Aruba (NL) 2

Benin 1

Botswana 1

Chad 1

Dominica 1

Salvador 1

Fiji 1

Former Netherlands Antilles 1

Gabon 1

Guatemala 1

Maldives 1

North Korea 1

Oman 1

Polynesia 1

San Marino 1

St. Thomas and Prince 1

Togo 1

Wallis and Futuna 1

Andorra 1

In alphabetical order

Afghanistan 38

Africa 822

Albania 126

Algeria 37

America 2,358

Andorra 1

Angola 4

Argentina 413

Armenia 18

Aruba (NL) 2

Asia 2,966

Australia 342

Australia and New Zealand 368

Austria 2,641

Azerbaijan 25

Bangladesh 13

Barbados 3

Belarus 192

Belgium 308

Belize 5

Benin 1

Bolivia 12

Bosnia and Herzegovina 107,676

Botswana 1

Brazil 165

Bulgaria 1,241

Burkina Faso 7

Burundi 4

Cambodia 8

Cameroon 23

Canada 372

Cape Verde 4

Caribbean 288

Central Africa 49

Central African Republic 2

Central America 98

Central Asia 296

Chad 1

Chile 36

China including Hong Kong 977

Colombia 49

Congo 9

Costa Rica 6

Croatia 44,994

Cuba 85

Cyprus 7

Czech Republic 363

Democratic Republic of Congo 11

Denmark 68

Dominica 1

Dominican

East Africa 164

East Asia 1,123

Ecuador 11

Egypt 127

Eritrea 26

Estonia 22

Ethiopia 16

Fiji 1

Finland 37

Former Netherlands Antilles 1

France 1,119

Gabon 1

Gambia 20

Georgia 24

Germany 7,255

Ghana 56

Greece 119

Guatemala 1

Guinea 7

Guinea-Bissau 31

Guyana 2

Haiti 2

Honduras 3

Hungary 429

Iceland 6

India 181

Indonesia 56

Iran 143

Iraq 93

Ireland 58

Israel 42

Italy 4,136

Ivory Coast 3

Jamaica 7

Japan 87

Jordan 60

Kazakhstan 187

Kenya 33

Kosovo 17,050

Kuwait 12

Kyrgyzstan 13

Laos 3

Lebanon 30

Liberia 10

Libya 47

Liechtenstein 10

Lithuania 46

Luxembourg 41

Madagascar 18

Malawi 3

Malaysia 11

Maldives 1

Mali 4

Malta 7

Mauritius 7

Melanesia 3

Mexico 78

Moldova 361

Mongolia 4

Montenegro 3,344

Morocco 31

Mozambique 4

Myanmar / Burma 2

Namibia 3

Nepal 28

Netherlands 336

New Zealand 27

Nicaragua 4

Nigeria 64

North Africa 333

North America 1,140

North Korea 1

Northern Macedonia 17,128

Norway 23

Oceania 372

Oman 1

Pakistan 46

Palestine 4

Panama 2

Papua New Guinea 2

Paraguay 3

Peru 56

Philippines 150

Poland 392

Polynesia 1

Portugal 59

Qatar 2

Republic of 185

Romania 407

Russia 3,009

Rwanda 2

Salvador 1

San Marino 1

Saudi Arabia 21

Senegal 4

Serbia 25,372

Sierra Leone 5

Singapore 9

Slovakia 541

Slovenia 1,816,654

Somalia 25

South Africa (Rep.) 58

South Africa 62

South America 832

South Asia 464

South East Asia 529

South Korea 35

Spain 179

Sri Lanka 17

St. Thomas and Prince 1

Sudan 12

Sweden 324

Switzerland 922

Syria 199

Taiwan 22

Tajikistan 9

Tanzania 3

Thailand 269

Togo 1

Trinidad and Tobago 4

Tunisia 78

Turkey 184

Turkmenistan 12

Uganda 5

Ukraine 2,495

United Arab Emirates 17

United Kingdom 642

United States 768

Uruguay 14

Uzbekistan 70

Venezuela 75

Vietnam 22

Wallis and Futuna 1

West Africa 214

West Asia 554

Western Sahara 2

Yemen 15

Zambia 7

Zimbabwe 15

16 May 2019, 08:39 AM

STA, 14 May 2019 - Although the general belief in Slovenia is that immigrants from the Western Balkan countries are mostly unqualified labourers, a survey presented by the charity Caritas on Tuesday suggests that most immigrants have secondary education and are often overqualified for the work they do in Slovenia.

Interestingly, Slovenia also does not export only young educated people but also unqualified workers and the number of people leaving the county almost matches the number of people moving into Slovenia, says the publication Our Common Home (Naš skupni dom), funded by the European Commission and the Slovenian Foreign Ministry.

In 2017, 17,555 people moved out of the country, mostly to other EU countries, while 18,808 people moved to Slovenia.

Slovenians living abroad significantly contribute to the development of Slovenia, the authors say. "Our data show that the Slovenian diaspora contributes more (to Slovenia) than the immigrants here contribute to their source countries," a co-author of the publication, Nina Stenko Primožič, said at today's presentation.

Most migrants in Slovenia (86%) were born in one of the Western Balkan countries. According to Eurostat data from 2018, 108,000 of them were born in Bosnia-Herzegovina, 45,000 in Croatia, 25,000 in Serbia, 17,000 in Kosovo, 17,000 in North Macedonia and 3,300 in Montenegro.

Most of the people moving to Slovenia have finished high school but since they could not find a job that would suit their education, they take on jobs for which they are overqualified and accept lower pay.

However, most young people from the Western Balkan countries who currently reside in Slovenia are highly qualified and often work as experts.

In 2015, 10% of female immigrants and 8% of male immigrants in Slovenia had tertiary education. Among Slovenians, the share of people with tertiary education was higher, at 25.7%. But the authors of the publication note that not all highly qualified people from the Western Balkans move to Slovenia.

Foreign students accounted for 4.5% of all students in tertiary education in Slovenia in 2017/2018, according to data by the Statistics Office. Most of them (over 90%) came from the Western Balkan countries, especially North Macedonia, Bosnia-Herzegovina and Serbia, and EU countries (mostly Croatia).

Among migrants from non-EU countries, most came from Russia (3,000), China (977), the US (768), Argentina (456) and Canada (372). Migrants from Russia were highly educated (more than 50% of men and 43% of women had tertiary education). Among South Americans, 35% of men and 40% of women finished tertiary education.

Since the end of the crisis, companies and public institutions in Slovenia are trying to attract highly qualified staff from abroad, doctors in particular. In mid-2018, the government prepared legislative changes facilitating the hiring of doctors from non-EU countries.

According to data from 2016, 13% of the 7,500 doctors in Slovenia were foreigners.

The biggest share of migrants from the EU (24%) live in central Slovenia, 18% in Podravje in the north-east and 14% in the western and coastal region.

Most people from Bosnia-Herzegovina live in central Slovenia as do more than half of those from Montenegro and almost 40% of those from Serbia.

People from Albania and Kosovo are more widespread around the country, mostly because of their family businesses.

Many migrants who moved to Slovenia while it was still a part of Yugoslavia live in the areas which used to be strong industrial centres.

According to Eurostat data, just over 250,000 people living in Slovenia at the beginning of 2018 were born outside the country, which is 12.1% of the population. More than a half of them had Slovenian citizenship.

The publication is a part of the project MIND (Migration. Interconnectedness. Development.), financed by the European Commission and led by Caritas Austria with Caritas Europa in the co-lead and ten further Caritas organisations as partners.

The full report, in Slovenian, can be found here

13 May 2019, 14:30 PM

STA, 13 May 2019 - Employers have been pointing to their difficulties in finding qualified new employees for quite some time, but the situation has only been worsening to the point when it looks more dire than it was in 2008, before the economic crisis. Employers' organisations thus urge the authorities to take action by promoting economic migrations.

 

Employers have been hiring foreigners to alleviate the shortage, but the manpower pool of the former Yugoslav republics is depleting as well.

The organisations thus expect the government to speed up measures to tackle the issue and come up with a strategy for promoting economic migrations.

According to the Employment Service's data, in the past six months, almost 50% of employers were faced with the shortage, with the share standing at 70% among large companies.

The deficiency is most pronounced in the restaurant business (69%), construction (62%), social and health care (62%) and manufacturing (56%).

"Employers often encounter problems when trying to recruit employees for jobs which are paid less, physically demanding and/or come with demanding working schedules. There's also the issue of finding candidates for technical jobs requiring specific skills which are difficult to be obtained quickly by not (yet) trained and inexperienced people," said the service.

Increasing systemic discrepancies are present in the labour market, according to the service, with the number of available jobs growing, and the number of jobless decreasing.

As a result, the share of the unemployed with primary education or without it is increasing, same as the share of jobless people who are limited in finding employment and require active support.

On the other hand, the share of the unemployed disabled people is decreasing more slowly than the share of all unemployed people.

Employers are thus trying to fill in the gaps by adopting measures such as overtime or temporary increased workload, recruiting through temping agencies, encouraging the young to find jobs more quickly, discussing post-retirement work with older employees and attracting foreign employees, the executive director of the Chamber of Commerce and Industry (GZS) Samo Hribar Milič has told the STA.

The Slovenian Employers' Association (ZDS) secretary general Jože Smole also said that recruiting foreign employees was one of the key ways to tackle this issue.

According to the Employment Service, the number of work permits increased from 14,811 in 2015 to 18,049 in 2018. The numbers do not include single residence-work permits, with 1,180 of them being issued in 2015 and a significantly higher number of them in 2018 - 20,889.

In the first four months of this year, 9,693 foreigners obtained permits to reside and work in Slovenia. But getting such permits does not automatically denote receiving a work permit at the administrative unit in charge.

The majority of foreign recruits are from the former Yugoslav republics. Slovenia issued 16,596 work permits to citizens of Bosnia-Herzegovina last year, 1,281 to citizens of Croatia, and 140 to citizens of Serbia.

The share of single residence-work permits was highest in case of migrant workers from Serbia, Kosovo, North Macedonia and Russia.

Employers criticise the length of procedures for hiring employees from third countries. Moreover, they have been waiting a year for the ratification of the treaty on employing Serbian citizens in Slovenia.

The protocol for implementing the treaty was signed in November last year, but the ratification has not taken place yet. However, employers caution that the manpower pool in the former Yugoslavia is being drained as well.

Hribar Milič thus called for ratification of treaties which would enable employing citizens of countries such as Ukraine and Belarus. He also urged the authorities to follow Germany's example and establish offices in charge of employing third-country nationals, for example in Sarajevo, Kiev or Skopje.

"The state already promised that, but has still not delivered on it," he pointed out.

The newspaper Delo recently reported that around a third of the foreigners getting work permits in Slovenia used that opportunity as a stepping stone for migrating to another EU country.

Commenting on this, Hribar Milič said that GZS member companies had been pointing that out, having invested in foreign recruitment only to be faced with recruits moving on to other EU countries.

He denied accusations of Slovenia importing workforce to the EU at dumping prices as Slovenian labour costs are lower, which makes workers from Slovenia cheaper. He said the accusations were based on individual cases, which should be sanctioned by law.

Smole said that given the amount of labour costs in Slovenia one could not speak about dumping.

He expects the government to step up action mitigating the manpower drain, reduce red tape and come up with an operational strategy for economic migrations.

On the other hand, the GZS is pleased about its collaboration with the Employment Service since the latter is developing personalised training and further courses for the unemployed in cooperation with the organisation. However, Hribar Milič concluded that there was room for improvement in that respect as well.

All our stories about employment in Slovenia are here

10 May 2019, 11:50 AM

STA, 9 May 2019 - With a number of countries within the Schengen zone continuing to carry out internal border checks, including neighbouring Austria, a majority of the parties standing in the 26 May European election claim such checks are unwarranted. Some perceive them as an expression of a lack of trust in Slovenian politics.

The coalition parties generally share the opinion that internal border checks are not warranted, as passing borders without checks is one of the most tangible advantages of EU membership.

The ruling Marjan Šarec List (LMŠ) believes that the rules on temporary border checks within the Schengen zone should be redefined to prevent abuse of the system.

The Social Democrats (SD) think that checks on internal borders are unwarranted, except in extraordinary situations. Any obstacles to the free flow of people, services, goods and capital are unacceptable, the party says.

The Pensioners' Party (DeSUS) finds Austria's border checks unacceptable. "We don't want a future in which counties make unilateral decisions about such fundamental values and treaties, such as the Schengen Agreement."

The Modern Centre Party (SMC) sees Austria's decision as a violation of the fundamental principles of the EU, arguing that Slovenia is protecting the Schengen border responsibly. It sees the political situation in Austria as the main reason for border checks.

Also stressing that the checks on the Slovenian-Austrian border are unwarranted is the Alenka Bratušek Party (SAB), which says it is a mere "implementation of cheap nationalist politics".

The opposition Democrats (SDS) and the non-parliamentary People's Party (SLS), who are running on a joint ticket, believe that internal border checks are a result of the increasing threat of terrorism and illegal mass migrations.

Internal border checks run counter to the idea of free movement of people, but only effective protection of the external border would make internal checks unnecessary, the parties says.

While noting that internal border checks undermine one of the fundamental freedoms in the EU, the opposition New Slovenia (NSi) believes that these are an obvious sign of distrust among EU member states, a problem that needs to be addressed as soon as possible.

The Left, an opposition partner to the minority ruling coalition, warns that checks on internal borders run against the concept of open borders as one of the fundamental EU values. The measure is unlawful and undermines the principles on which the EU is based.

The opposition National Party (SNS), meanwhile, believes that Slovenia should seal its Schengen border with Croatia and let only people with valid documents in the country. Controls on the border should be constant and strict.

Similarly, the Homeland League (DOM) thinks that Austria's measure is self-explanatory, as Slovenia has failed to protect its border since 2015. "If border protection is not effective, the Schengen border will be moved from the river Kolpa to the Karavanke mountain range."

On the other hand, the Let's Connect list believes that such checks are no longer warranted from either the security or customs aspects. It is propaganda aimed at creating the false feeling of an outside threat, it says.

Good State believes that Austria is using the situation for political purposes. Internal checks are unwarranted and the Slovenian government should take counter-measures and check people coming to Slovenia from Austria.

08 May 2019, 12:52 PM

STA, 8 May 2019 - The parties standing in the upcoming EU election have very different views on the issue of migration, which the EU has been struggling with in recent years. While coalition parties mostly advocate for a common EU migration policy and sharing the burden, the opposition, bar the Left, want better border protection.

 

The senior coalition Marjan Šarec List (LMŠ) as well as the junior coalition Modern Centre Party (SMC) believe in solidarity.

The SMC thinks quotas are one of the possible solutions to the current situation, while the LMŠ believes a balance between solidarity towards migrants and the safety of Slovenian citizens should be found.

Both parties believe the problem of people leaving their countries should be tackled at its source, with the LMŠ noting a clear distinction should be made between legal and illegal migrations.

The coalition Social Democrats (SD) have told the STA that a united pacifist foreign policy of the EU would be crucial to deal with migration, along with protection of external EU borders.

Also important will be fair trade and a high level of environment protection and labour standards, the SD believes.

The party thinks countries share the responsibility for the situation and should also share the burdens.

The coalition Alenka Bratušek Party (SAB) agrees. "No country will be able to deal with this challenge alone and border fences will not stop immigration."

The Pensioners' Party (DeSUS), another ruling coalition party, thinks the migration influx has caught the EU completely unprepared.

"Each country took its own steps and what we witnessed at the end of 2015 is a disgrace for all of us who believe that Europe is a humane and civilised community," it says.

The opposition Left thinks the EU's foreign policy and its policy towards neighbouring countries need a thorough overhaul. Rather than building fences, buying weapons and gathering troops, the EU should invest in peace building in its neighbourhood, the party stresses.

"These people are fleeing from hunger, poverty, wars, ecological disasters," the Left has said about migrants.

In contrast, the opposition Democrats (SDS) and the non-parliamentary People's Party (SLS), running on a joint ticket, think the EU has made the right call when it recently decided to send 10,000 police officers at its external borders.

The SDS+SLS alliance believes the migration issue should be tackled in source countries and opposes obligatory refugee quotas for EU member states.

The opposition National Party (SNS) has even more radical views, calling for immediate closure of EU borders for all migrants.

The party also thinks all those who are already in the country and do not meet the criteria for residence should immediately be sent back to their countries.

The opposition New Slovenia (NSi) thinks the main problem is the lack of dialogue between central and western Europe.

"We need a European solution that will not breach the sovereignty of countries. We cannot have one Europe and two migration policies and two interpretations of the rule of law."

The issue of migration should primarily be addressed by tackling economic and social problems in source countries, the NSi believes.

Among the non-parliamentary parties and lists, the Homeland League (DOM) holds the most radical view, demanding that the EU protect its borders using all means available and prevent illegal migration from the Middle East and Africa.

The far-right United Slovenia, led by the self-styled militia leader Andrej Šiško, even talks of a "planned genocide against European nations" which started with the 1975 Strasbourg resolution. It claims that with the resolution, the EU predecessors agreed to accepting Arab immigrants in exchange for access to oil.

All our stories on the EU elections are here, while those on immigration are here

07 May 2019, 15:30 PM

STA, 6 May 2019 - The newspaper Delo noted in Monday's editorial that it is commendable that Slovenia is the third most popular destination for workers from the Balkans, but also warns against overpopulating the country with foreigners, wondering "whether Slovenia should leave the door fully open for all".

Young people are leaving Serbia, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Macedonia and Kosovo as they are demoralised, they do not see any future at home, the paper says under the headline Our Own Ground Under Our Feet.

People are also leaving Croatia en masse, although the country is doing much better than its neighbours. What contributes to this is also the overall globalisation, with young people emigrating all over the world.

Slovenia is the third most popular destination for people from the Balkans for life and work, after Switzerland and Germany, which is actually commendable for the country. It means that life is good in Slovenia, the paper notes.

If Slovenia needs foreign labour force, citizens of the former Yugoslav republics are certainly the most favourable immigrants. Slovenians have many things in common with them, but there are also differences, because of which the former state disintegrated in the first place.

Delo says that the current increase in immigration should be analysed. "If it continues, in ten years a quarter of Slovenia's population will be foreigners," it says, adding that mechanisms for the integration of every foreigner individually should be established.

01 May 2019, 09:59 AM

This documentary, from 2011, tells the story of the first black African leader in (as the producers put it) “Eastern Europe” – the then recently elected Mayor of Piran, Peter Bossman. An inspirational story for anyone who’s moved to Slovenia, and especially for anyone struggling to learn the Language – in Slovene with English subtitles.

27 Apr 2019, 18:52 PM

STA, 27 April 2019 - Some 400 locals living along the border near the Jelšane border crossing with Croatia staged a rally on Saturday demanding better border protection and rejecting the idea of their community hosting a processing centre for migrants.

 

Those living in border areas are faced with illegal migrations on a daily basis, and migrations involve pollution of the environment, break-ins and damage to property, said Ivan Cegnar, who heads a local civil initiative that has spearheaded the protests.

"What's particularly worrying is the fear, being unable to freely move in our back yards," said Cegnar, the head of the local government council in Jelšane.

He said the locals demanded that the state protect the Schengen border in line with the law and commitments Slovenia made when it joined the Schengen zone.

Emil Rojc, the mayor of Ilirska Bistrica, said that migrations had led to a deterioration in the quality of living for the locals.

They demand that police beef up security and reject what Rojc said were "excuses" by the police that there are not enough officers to protect the border. He said Slovenia could seek assistance from the EU border agency Frontex.

If needed the army should be called up as well, said Rojc, who hails from the ranks of the Social Democrats (SD) and has raised eyebrows in his party's ranks with his hard stance on migrations.

The protest is the apex of months of mounting opposition in Ilirska Bistrica area, where many migrants chose to cross the border.

In the first three months of this year police in the western Koper District, which includes Ilirska Bistrica, registered 388 illegal border crossings, up from 266 in the same period in 2018.

The area is not the main entry point for migrants, as the vast majority cross further east covered by the Ljubljana and Novo Mesto police.

In the entire country they registered 1,639 attempts at illegal border crossing, an increase of almost 150% on the year before.

But what has further aggravated local woes around Jelšane are contingency plans that involve using buildings near the Jelšane border crossing for a processing centre for migrants in the event of a surge in migrant numbers.

The government has tried to assuage fears by emphasising that this would be a measure of last resort, but it has refused to specify at what point it may be activated.

The municipal council has even tried to stage a referendum on the registration centre, but their attempt has been thwarted by courts with the argument that such issues cannot be subject to referenda. The motion has been put to the Supreme Court.

While driven by local concerns, the protest attracted the interest of rightist parties that have made opposition to migrations a core part of their agendas.

Among the participants were senior Democrat (SDS) MP Branko Grims, the president of the far-right Homeland League (DOM) Bernard Brščič and representatives of the extremist Identitarian movement, which had in previous days urged people to attend the protest.

SDS leader Janez Janša wrote on Twitter that the protest was "the only genuine manifestation on Resistance Day," in that it was targeted "against potential conquerors and their helpers."

Meanwhile, the SD said they did not support the protest, adding in reference to the mayor coming from their ranks that "the party's competent bodies will evaluate the conduct of individual members."

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