Feature: Refugees arrive in Slovenia in hope of starting new life in Europe

October 29, 2015 5:32 am 

RIGONCE, Slovenia, Oct. 28 — Wearing her pale smile, fourteen-year-old Syrian girl Maria waved her right hand as she proceeded on Tuesday afternoon to board one of five Slovenian buses at a country road at the Slovenian tiny border village of Rigonce, along with some 200 other refugees.

Maria was happy although she had been dropped off carelessly by a Croatian train in the wild near the Slovenian border, and walked in cold weather towards Slovenian territory.

She believed that, as hundreds of other refugees who arrived in Rigonce, they would be registered, and be taken fingerprints, then be transported to Austria or may be to Germany for a new life there.

Carrying their basic belongings in small suitcases or blankets, refugees followed the simple English instructions given by the Slovenian police to proceed boarding buses smoothly.

According to the news report by Slovenian Press Agency (STA), Slovenia and Croatia had put in place on Tuesday a new system for the passage of refugees across the border, an effort to alleviate the pressure on the tiny village of Rigonce as well as a sign of improving cooperation between the countries on the refugee crisis.

The vast majority of the over 86,000 refugees who crossed into Slovenia so far came through Rigonce on foot after being dropped off at a Croatian train stop, creating massive problems for Slovenian law enforcement.

Slovenian Interior Ministry State Secretary Bostjan Sefic confirmed that a train carrying some 1,070 refugees from Opatovac in east Croatia crossed into Slovenia for the first time on Tuesday. It took the refugees to Dobova, the main international rail crossing on the Slovenian side of the border.

A processing centre for refugees has already been set up near the small railway station at Rigonce, where refugees gathered with fire to warm themself in the cold Autumn weather waiting for being individually registered and then being taken by train to reception centers in Slovenia or Austria.

A Slovenian military officer at the refugee center in Rigonce told Xinhua that he doubted the registration work for the current thousands of refugees would be completed overnight, and therefore the refugee transferring would be delayed.

The Slovenian national expressway A2 became more busy when dozens of police and military vehicles, ambulances and special teams of passenger coaches run between Ljubljana, Novo Mesto and Rigonce border regions on Tuesday, apparently serving the coming refugees.

By midday on Tuesday over 5,800 refugees had entered Slovenia, bringing the total to almost 86,500 so far this year, according to the STA latest report. (PNA/Xinhua)

JBP/EBP

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