BELGRADE – At the beginning of autumn Serbia can expect another wave of refugees. And it will be much bigger than the one with 1,000 refugees from Syria who enter Serbia every day, writes Serbian daily “Blic”, citing information obtained from Serbian security services.

PHOTO: TANJUG / ZORAN ZESTIC
PHOTO: TANJUG / ZORAN ZESTIC

The second wave is expected to bring the poorest residents of Arab countries where the war with ISIS (ISIL/Islamic State) rages.

According to estimations of Serbian officials, about three million new immigrants are on the Turkish border, waiting to enter the EU through Greece, Macedonia and Serbia.

“The new wave of immigrants could be the most risky to the safety and the public health of Serbian residents. These immigrants who should arrive in Serbia come from the lowest social structures of the countries from which they come. That is why measures of greater control of their movement are being already planned,” says the latest information of Serbian security services that monitor the movement of asylum seekers, writes the daily.

Medical examination obligatory

Ivan Miskovic, spokesman for the Commissioner for Refugees and Migration said for “Blic” that asylum seekers who apply for asylum in Serbia are obligated to go to a medical examination (blood, urine, x-ray) and that this will also be the policy in the future.

“Most asylum seekers in Serbia are healthy people, and only a small number of them contracted tuberculosis and other diseases. Such people were immediately hospitalized,” said Miskovic.

Currently there are more than 70,000 asylum seekers in Serbia waiting to go to the EU, most of them from the middle class. Among them you can meet doctors, teachers, professors and those who engaged in private business in Syria. When asked whether they plan to stay in Serbia, they say:

“We see that in Serbia there are no jobs for you, let alone for us so that is why we do not plan to stay. We have to express our appreciation to the citizens of Serbia who are really trying to help us,” said asylum seekers gathered in parks around the bus and railway station in Belgrade.

Belgrade financial centre for asylum seekers

The exodus of immigrants from Syria is well organized. With a large number of them a manual was found with information on where to go, which transport to use and at what prices.

“Immigrants plan to get to Serbia because to them Belgrade is a finance center. Unlike Turkey, Greece and Macedonia, in Serbia they receive a document on the application for a temporary asylum, which allows them to raise money in banks via “Western Union”, sent to them by their relatives,” said a source from the security services for “Blic”.

Five million Syrians will pass through Serbia

The number of immigrants who arrive daily in Serbia will not be reduced soon, which is evidenced by the asylum seekers themselves who believe that several million people will pass through Serbia.

Varit Musa (29) from Syria believes that “the whole Syria will pass through Serbia”.

“There is a lot of blood on the streets in Syria. They kill women, child, the elderly… I do not see the end to it. They seek a life without bombs and it does not matter whether it will be in Germany, Belgium, Sweden or the Netherlands. They will not stop until the whole of Syria move out,” said Musa.

Smail Halil (43), a mathematics professor, agrees with this. He is traveling with his family to Germany.

“At least five million people will pass through here. They are all running because of the war and are seeking refuge somewhere in Europe. First flee those who can afford the trip, but the situation in Syria is difficult so those who don’t have the money will flee too,” he explained.

Nasrin Mustafa (36) is going with her husband and child from Syria to Germany.

“I saw many people who died and tried to flee until the last moment. This trip requires a lot of money, and not everyone has it. We pay 136 euros for a night in a hotel in Belgrade. We had to call our relatives to send us more money,” says the woman.