Croatia lifts Serbia border restrictions: minister

Refugees and migrants have <strong>saidstrong> they chose those countries for a variety of reasons, with anecdotal evidence pointing to the strong economies, generous social welfare systems and ample job opportunities in those nations.


“We are ready to forget everything”, Orban told a news conference at his country’s embassy in Vienna after a closed-door meeting with Faymann.

In EU-speak they’re called “hotspots” – teams of European border, legal and asylum experts considered key to identifying those in need of worldwide protection among the tens of thousands of people arriving in Greece and Italy in search of sanctuary or better lives.

This has since diverted 55,000 people in the past nine days into Croatia.

Hungary’s border closure – and the razor-wire barriers it has set up along its frontiers with Serbia and parts of Croatia not marked by the Drava river – have been widely criticised. After it installed spools of razor-wire near a border crossing with Slovenia, rousing complaints from Slovenian officials, Hungary insisted the measure was only temporary. On Twitter, the Croatian government later said the vehicle ban applied to Serbian cars entering from Serbia, but not necessarily from Croatia’s other neighbors, such as Bosnia.

Overwhelmed by the sheer numbers, Croatia has closed all but one of its border crossings with Serbia and blamed Belgrade for diverting an unrelenting flow of migrants towards its frontier. Hungary finished building a metal wall around its border on August 30.

Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban, who ordered a fence built along the Serbian border to keep migrants out of his country, said after the meeting that he was willing to consider allowing them to go through to other destinations.

Croatia then began to simply bus the migrants to Hungary.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel said that the refugee issue is not only a challenge for Germany. The United Nations defines a refugee as “a person who is outside his or her country of nationality or habitual residence; has a well-founded fear of being persecuted because of his or her race, religion, nationality, membership of a particular social group or political opinion”. It blocked Croatian goods and cargo vehicles in the escalating dispute, which has dragged relations between the former Yugoslav republics to their lowest ebb since the overthrow of Serbian strongman Slobodan Milosevic in 2000.

He criticised the fence Hungary had erected at its border with Serbia, which has “very obviously not hindered the entry of refugees into Hungary”.

“The way I see it now is that, even if not whole-heartedly, Austria acknowledges that Hungary, if it wants to uphold worldwide agreements, should implement actual border controls along the Croatian-Hungarian border”, said the conservative Hungarian leader.

Faymann in response accused Hungary of poorly treating migrants passing through its territory.

“We are aware that Serbia does not know what to do with the refugees except to bring them to the Croatian border, but that is something which is not easy for us either, to take care of some 10,000 to 12,000 people who came across the border during one night”, Croatian news agency quoted Pusic as saying.


President Klaus Iohannis spoke early Thursday after an emergency European Union summit to discuss ways of tackling the migration crisis.

A man protects himself and a child from the rain on no man's land at the Sid border crossing between Serbia and Croatia near Sid about 100 km west from Belgrade Serbia Thursday Sept. 24 2015. Tensions escalated between Serbia and Croatia on Thur