Croatia’s prime minister said yesterday (24 April) that he hopes to find a solution to new border crossing problems before the start of the tourist season. Changes to Schengen rules have caused chaos on its border with Slovenia.
Prime Minister Andrej Plenković told Croatian newspaper Jutarnji List that he hopes a solution to the current “unsustainable situation with long queues at border crossings” can be found.
Newly-introduced checks on the Schengen Area’s external borders caused traffic chaos between Slovenia and Croatia when they were introduced earlier this month and people were forced to queue for hours.
Aimed at stopping suspected Islamist fighters from Iraq and Syria, the new measures were relaxed by Slovenian authorities when it became clear than full implementation was untenable.
Slovenian Prime Minister Miro Cerar said at the time that “the implementation of the EU’s directive on the border with Croatia has caused totally intolerable conditions over the last few days”.
— dr. Miro Cerar (@MiroCerar) April 8, 2017
Plenković said yesterday that his government is in dialogue with the European Commission, European Council and other member states in an attempt to find a solution.
The prime minister claimed that the latest changes can be changed to “just targeted controls” and revealed that Croatia and Hungary have already started implementing the rules in this way. He added that he hopes Slovenia will soon do the same.
Plenković said he hopes an answer can be found before the start of the country’s lucrative tourism season, which accounts for a massive 18% of GDP. He added, “I think Croatia has all the arguments on its side.”