By LOUIS RODRIGUEZ-MANTOFFI/Reuters Slovenia has become the latest EU member state to launch a crackdown on the illegal wall that has been blocking the city’s main street.
On Tuesday, the government launched a new “wall protection operation” in the city of Lugo, which lies just a few kilometers (miles) north of the capital, Bratislava.
It aims to enforce a ban on “illegal structures, activities and gatherings” on the street, the Slovenian government said.
The measure will apply to the area around the town’s main square, a popular place for many tourists to gather and also for business.
The authorities have said they will crack down on the use of the street as a “venue of prostitution” and have launched a series of raids and searches in the area.
The measures are part of a government push to end a years-long conflict with a group of squatters who have built their encampment on the outskirts of the city.
The government says the squatters have “spontaneously violated” laws on private property and are obstructing public transport and other public services.
The squatters’ protest camp, which is near a railway station, has also become a target of police raids.
It has been repeatedly targeted by police.
Lugo has become a flashpoint in the Balkan nation’s increasingly tense politics.
The EU has imposed sanctions on Serbia over its role in the country’s civil war.
Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic is facing a potential third term after his ruling coalition fell to a pro-Russian party in last year’s election.
Vucic and his ruling Civic Platform party have also been accused of corruption.
On Monday, a local court in the central town of Zagreb found the Civic Platform leader and former foreign minister Zdenek Bratslavić guilty of embezzling almost 1 million euros ($1.07 million) of state funds.
Bratslavis lawyer has previously told Reuters that he is innocent of any wrongdoing and that the case was brought under the “anti-corruption law”.