July was the busiest month during the last two years for Slovenian police who caught 1,740 migrants illegally entering Slovenia and the Schengen zone.
That of course is not the final number as over 240 migrants managed first to evade the Slovenian military and the police on the border with Croatia, then to cross the entire country and thereafter managed to evade joint police patrols on the eastern Italian border to finally enter Italy from Slovenia.
Slovenian Schengen border remains open
Slovenian Prime Minister Marjan Šarec was elected in June 2018 and in September formed a minority government. Despite problems with illegal migrants entering the country from 2015 onwards, it was only Matteo Salvini’s threatening in Trieste to put up barbed wire on the Italian eastern border which compelled Marjan Šarec to at last admit that there was a migrant problem in Slovenia. Before this, he denied the problem and lied to the public, claiming that Slovenia was protecting its border just fine.
With pressure from the public and the first Islamic terrorist attack in Slovenia, Prime Minister Šarec sent an additional 35 soldiers to patrol over 600 kilometers along the southern border. However, the Slovenian army has no legal authority to protect the border. Soldiers are there only to watch as migrants illegally enter the country as by law they are not allowed to intervene. Only the police force is allowed to do that.
The first Islamic terrorist attack in Slovenia happened in July. A migrant trying to reach Italy took a cab and when the driver realized his customer had no money to pay, he tried to get rid of him. The migrant realized the car was stopping before crossing into Italy and he took out his knife and heavily wounded the cab driver, who fled from the car with the key in hand. At that point, the migrant tried to hot wire the ignition of the car to continue towards Italy. Before he was able to start the cab, the police arrived and the migrant tried to fight them with a knife, shouting “Allahu akbar! If you do not kill me, I will kill you!”
Slovenia also needs to change its asylum laws. After uttering the magic words: “I want asylum in Slovenia”, migrants are transported to an asylum center in Ljubljana. Once there, migrants have free movement over the entire country and can easily slip into Italy because the Italian border remains open and unprotected.
In recent months, the Slovenian police has urged Marjan Šarec and his minority government to change asylum laws to facilitate their job with migrants. But left and socialist politicians in power for the last 10 years are fighting any changes to asylum laws in order to help their friends in the smuggling business.
Top Slovenia politicians among migrant smugglers
Prime Minister Marjan Šarec admitted one of the biggest problems is migrant smugglers. Slovenian prisons are already overcrowded with migrant smugglers, but in July Slovenia was shocked that one of the political elite was caught smuggling migrants with her husband.
Lidija Mavretič, seen in a picture with Dejan Židan, President of Slovenian parliament, accompanied him to China in 2017. She ran as EU candidate for the left Social Democrats, the party of Dejan Židan, and in July this year she was arrested by Slovenian police for smuggling migrants from Croatia to Slovenia.
Migrant smugglers caught in Slovenia are a reason for overcrowded prisons. In order to reduce the prison population, smugglers convicted in Slovenia serve only a few months unlike in Italy, where smugglers rot in jail for years for their crimes.
With each passing month the migrant flow to Slovenia and onwards to Austria and Italy is rising ever higher. The monthly number is now higher than at any time since the last huge migrant wave in 2015. Reports from migrant camps in Bosnia and Herzegovina say that every new day sees over a hundred new migrants arrive, with the only goal being to reach the West. Since Austria has suspended the Schengen treaty with Slovenia, migrants now look for ways to reach Italy as they know they will not be able to reach Austria.