Three Seas news: Political tensions in Slovenia mount over case of Syrian migrant, who was ordered back to Croatia.
The Middle East Eye (interesting name) reported that the prime minister of Slovenia, Miro Cerar, one of the few liberal leaders in central and eastern Europe, continues to face impeachment over his support for a Syrian asylum seeker who is facing deportation.
** This case certainly is bizarre and filled with drama. We have limited facts and will let others judge the merits of the case. We would like feedback from Slovenians and Croatians.
Regardless of this situation, the V4 Report would like to see the liberal Cerar, a member of Guy Verhofstadt’s ALDE Party, defeated and ousted from government. Slovenia is a member of the Central European Defence Cooperation (CEDC), a group of seven nations that combats illegal migration in the region. We are not comfortable with Cerar, the ALDE party in Brussels or using the Slovenian Parliament as a “sanctuary” for illegal migrants facing deportation.
– After Shamieh, a father-of-five from Damascus suburb of Darayya, arrived in Slovenia 20 months ago, his asylum claim was rejected over the summer by local courts, which ordered that he be deported to Croatia, where he first officially entered EU.
“Officially” is the key word. How did he get to Croatia? Could Greece have been his first point of entry? If it was, why was he not registered there?
– After learning that Shamieh would still be deported following a short meeting at the ministry of interior, Skoberne, from the left-wing SD party in the coalition government, and Kordis, from the left-wing opposition Levica party, took Shamieh to Slovenia’s parliament building to prevent the police from taking him away.
– Slovenian Foreign Minister Karel Erjavec threatened to quit his post in a show of opposition towards Shamieh remaining in the country.
“Shamieh can go to Croatia and seek asylum there,” Erjavec told local media, while pointing out that Croatia was a safe country for migrants and tourists alike. (We are pretty sure Croatia would prefer not to link the two.)
– While the case has been continuing for weeks, the deepening divide resurfaced over the past week when Slovenian President Borut Pahor condemned Cerar’s decision to support the Syrian, calling it “hasty” during an interview with Slovenian daily Dnevnik.
– Cerar has two weeks to answer the charges before a vote in parliament, where the opposition will require a two-thirds majority to carry the motion and force a public court hearing.
– Despite Slovenia being the seventh-most peaceful country, according to 2017 Global Peace Index, it is not a popular destination for refugees.
Stay tuned for more action from Slovenia. Elections are due soon and we will analyze them shortly.