BERLIN (AP) — The latest in the odyssey of hundreds of thousands of migrants crossing Europe in search of a new life. All times local.
Slovenia’s foreign minister has hinted that the small country may erect a fence along its border with Croatia to stem the influx of tens of thousands of refugees and other migrants.
Karl Erjavec said Tuesday some 12,000-13,000 migrants have been arriving daily since Hungary built a fence on the border with Croatia and the flow was redirected to Slovenia earlier this month.
He says “we don’t want them (the migrants) to be dispersed along the length of the border. Certain impediments need to be set up to prevent that. There are various technical possibilities.”
Erjavec says he does not want to elaborate what those blockades would be, but added: “You can guess at what can be used to impede.”
Around 84,000 people have crossed into Slovenia from Croatia since Oct. 16.
Croatian police say that a 105-year-old Afghan woman is among the migrants who have arrived at the country’s main refugee camp near the border with Serbia.
Police say the woman came to the Opatovac camp around noon Tuesday after crossing from Serbia with a group of migrants. Spokesman Domagoj Dzigumovic says authorities have been checking whether she needs medical attention.
Many children and sick or elderly people have been among the tide of people hoping to reach Western Europe. Dzigumovic says more than 260,000 migrants have entered Croatia since mid-September when the so-called Balkan corridor switched from Hungary to Croatia.
Dzigumovic says the influx of refugees has decreased by 1,000 to 2,000 per day in the past few days, but he stresses that it could intensify again.
A daily influx of thousands of beleaguered refugees — including many children and elderly people — has put a massive strain on the health care capacities of tiny Slovenia.
Around the border town of Brezice — the arrival point for at least a half of the 84,000 refugees who have entered Slovenia from Croatia over the past 11 days — doctors and nurses have been working around the clock.
The Brezice health center chief, Dr. Miroslav Laktic, says medical teams have helped at least 500 migrants a day as they pass through on their way to Western Europe.
Dr. Katalin Debreceni of Hungarian Caritas charity group says “most of the patients have an upper airways inflammation, coughing, or throat ache and fever. Some children have diarrhea and vomiting.”
German Chancellor Angela Merkel says Europe’s refugee crisis can only be solved “step by step” in collaboration with other European Union countries and Turkey. She says the flood of people into Europe can’t just be switched off.
Merkel’s comments Tuesday came after Bavarian governor Horst Seehofer, the most prominent domestic critic of her decision to let in migrants from Hungary last month, called for action from Berlin by Sunday to reduce the migrant influx. He also urged her to complain to neighboring Austria about an uncoordinated flow of new arrivals.
Merkel said: “We cannot flip the switch in one go — we must proceed step by step.”
She said she’s convinced the number of refugees can be reduced only by acting together with Turkey, Greece and the EU.
Authorities in Germany and two private individuals have offered rewards totaling 20,000 euros ($22,000) in a fresh bid to find 4-year-old Bosnian migrant child and a man who may have abducted him.
CCTV video shows Mohamed Januzi leaving the central registration center for migrants in Berlin with an unidentified man on Oct. 1.
Mohammed is described as being about 1 meter (3.3 feet) tall with dark hair. The man is described as being of European appearance, aged 35 to 50, slim with dark hair and a beard.
Police in the German capital on Tuesday posted new pictures of Mohammed and amateur video of the man in the hope of getting new leads in the three-week old case.