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Strained Slovenia weighs border fence of its own

Slovenia has sought relief after Hungary's border fence redirected thousands of migrants to the small nation. The EU hopes to agree to a more cooperative solution at its summit on Sunday.

Fearing an insufficient response from the European Union summit called for Sunday, Slovenian Prime Minister Miro Cerar announced on Friday that he was "considering" blocking off the flow of migrants with a fence along the country's border with Croatia.

The move would follow the example of Hungary, whose recently completed southern border fence put Slovenia

center stage

on the so-called Balkan route into the EU.

Slovenia is now the main point of entry into the EU's open-border Schengen Zone for migrants on the Balkan route. Some 47,500 have arrived at the country's borders since Hungary's fence was completed on October 17. As of Friday morning, 14,000 were in refugee camps in Slovenia, waiting to move on to Austria.

Prime Minister Cerar referred to the border fence as a backup plan, saying that blocking off the 400-mile border with Croatia could require funds and resources that the nation does not have.

"We are still looking for a European option," Cerar said.

Slovenia, with a population of 2 million, has asked the EU for police backup, logistical support and at least 60 million euros ($68 million).

European Commission Chief Jean-Claude Juncker called a

mini-summit for Sunday,

involving the leaders of countries struggling with the migrant flow in southeastern Europe.

jtm/msh (AFP, Reuters)

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