February 17, 2016 / 3:12 PM / 3 years ago

Slovenian government wants army to help police control migrant flow

Migrants walk towards a makeshift camp close to the Austrian border town of Spielfeld in the village of Sentilj, Slovenia, February 16, 2016. REUTERS/Leonhard Foeger

LJUBLJANA (Reuters) - The Slovenian government asked parliament on Wednesday to allow the armed forces to help police control the country’s borders as the migrant crisis prompts tougher measures along the route to western and northern Europe.

“It is one of the government’s measures in gradually stepping up control of the flow of migrants,” Slovenian news agency STA quoted the Defense Minister Andreja Katic as saying.

STA said parliament could vote on the measure at the beginning of next week. Slovenia’s move follows Austria’s announcement that it will cap the number of migrants entering the country at 3,200 per day.

If approved by parliament, for which support of at least two-thirds of the deputies present is required, the army would be granted police powers to help secure the national borders for three months, which can be renewed.

Countries on the so-called Balkan route for refugees fleeing war and instability in the Middle East and Africa have indicated they will follow suit in case of any tougher measures imposed on migrant arrivals by Austria or Germany.

Reporting by Igor Ilic in Zagreb; Editing by Tom Heneghan

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