Balkan migrant route still exists as Serbia registers 102,000 migrants in 2016

Balkan migrant route still exists as Serbia registers 102,000 migrants in 2016
By bne IntelliNews July 11, 2016

Serbia’s Minister of Labour, Employment, Veteran and Social Affairs Aleksandar Vulin said on July 8 that the Balkan migrant route still exists as 102,000 migrants passing through Serbia have been registered since the beginning of the year.

Serbia has been dealing with the migration crisis since 2015, when thousands of refugees and economic emigrants from the Middle East and North Africa travelled via the Balkans trying to reach European Union countries, mainly Germany and the UK. Remembering the breakup of Yugoslavia in the 1990s and conflicts in its former republics that forced 2mn people leave their homes, Serbia’s government and citizens have tried to help refugees even though most of them are just passing via the country’s territory.

"A year ago we proved that the Balkan route exists. In a year, over 600,000 migrants passed through our country, and since January 1 this year we have registered 102,000 migrants even though the Balkan route has been closed since the beginning of March. That means that the Balkan route still exists and that the people are finding it increasingly difficult to reach European Union countries," Vulin said on July 8, on the first anniversary of the opening of the refugee camp in Presevo on the border with Macedonia. There are currently only 13 refugees from Syria and Afghanistan at the camp.

For Serbia’s Minister of Interior Affairs Nebojsa Stefanovic, the closing of EU borders while the migration crisis is still ongoing has resulted in migrant smuggling.

“Smugglers take between €1,000 and €9,000 from migrants, but we will fight that as fiercely as we can," said Stefanovic, adding that Serbian police filed 1,015 criminal charges against migrant smugglers in 2015 and 241 in 2016.

Over the past three months, most of the migrants crossed into Serbia from Bulgaria, the ministers said.

“Serbia is considering concrete action and measures to prevent any negative impact of the migrant crisis on Serbian citizens,” Stefanovic told Tanjug on July 7.

He said he expected Prime Minister Aleksandar Vucic to call a meeting of a bureau coordinating the security services once the measures have been defined, and that the action to be taken would soon be announced.

Vulin also announced on July 7 he asked Vucic for the bureau to meet urgently over the migrant situation, Tanjug reported.

Related Articles

RBI doubles net profit y/y in Q1 as Russian business recovers

Raiffeisen Bank International (RBI), the second largest bank operating across Central and Eastern Europe by assets, reported that net profit almost doubled year-on-year to €220mn in the first ... more

China's Hesteel Group to boost investments in Serbia’s Smederevo steel mill

Representatives of China's Hesteel Group, which acquired Serbia’s only steel mill Zelezara Smederevo in July 2016, plan to invest ... more

French court refuses to extradite ex-Kosovo PM Haradinaj to Serbia

The Court of Appeals in the French town of Colmar decided on April 27 not to extradite Kosovo’s former Prime Minister Ramush Haradinaj to Serbia.  The decision was celebrated in Kosovo and ... more

Register here to continue reading this article and 2 more for free or purchase 12 months full website access including the bne Magazine for just $119/year.

Already a subscriber or registered - click here to recover access.

If you a IntelliNews Pro user - click here to login.

Thank you. Please complete your registration by confirming your email address.
A confirmation email has been sent to the email address you provided.

To continue viewing our content you need to complete the registration process.

Please look for an email that was sent to with the subject line "Confirmation bne IntelliNews access". This email will have instructions on how to complete registration process. Please check in your "Junk" folder in case this communication was misdirected in your email system.

Already a subscriber or registered - click here to recover access.

If you a IntelliNews Pro user - click here to login.

If you have any questions please contact us at sales@intellinews.com

Subscribe to bne IntelliNews website and magazine

Subscribe to bne IntelliNews website and monthly magazine, the leading source of business, economic and financial news and commentary in emerging markets.

Your subscription includes:
  • Full access to the bne content daily news and features on the website
  • Newsletters direct to your mailbox
  • Print and digital subscription to the monthly bne magazine
  • Digital subscription to the weekly bne newspaper

Already a subscriber or registered - click here to recover access.

If you a IntelliNews Pro user - click here to login.

bne IntelliNews
$119 per year

All prices are in US dollars net of applicable taxes.

If you have any questions please contact us at sales@intellinews.com

Register for free to read bne IntelliNews Magazine. You'll receive a free digital subscription.

Already a subscriber or registered - click here to recover access.

If you a IntelliNews Pro user - click here to login.

Thank you. Please complete your registration by confirming your email address.
A confirmation email has been sent to the email address you provided.

IntelliNews Pro offers daily news updates delivered to your inbox and in-depth data reports.
Get the emerging markets newswire that financial professionals trust.

"No day starts for my team without IntelliNews Pro" — UBS

Thank-you for requesting an IntelliNews Pro trial. Our team will be in contact with you shortly.

Dismiss