Thousands of refugees have been turned away from Slovenia's border and forced to sleep out in the open. As the EU struggles to form a unified refugee policy, Balkans countries continue to shoulder much of the burden.
Slovenia turned away more than 1,000 refugees from its border Monday, forcing many to stay outdoors in freezing conditions. They were among the many refugees forced to divert their route through Europe after Hungary sealed off its border with Croatia on Saturday.
Roughly 1,800 people arrived by train at the Sredisce ob Dravi checkpoint on the border between Croatia and Serbia overnight. Slovenia, which has remained firm on a quota of 2,500 migrants a day, agreed to take in 500 of the refugees. But while this select group was taken to a local processing center, the remainder were forced to spend the night outside in the driving rain, after authorities prevented them from crossing the border on foot.
Among the people that Slovenian authorities allowed in were women and children, including a pregnant woman, the AFP news agency reported.
Bottleneck in the Balkans
Hungarian authorities took the action in protest after EU leaders failed to reach an agreement on a plan, backed by Budapest, to turn refugees away from the Greek border.
Hundreds of thousands of migrants have made the trek through Eastern Europe over the past year. For many of them, countries such as Hungary and Slovenia are not the final destination, but rather the way through to Germany.
More than 2,500 migrants were reported to have crossed over into Austria from Slovenia this weekend.
blc/jm (dpa, AFP, AP)