Croatia shuts most Serbia border crossings, angering Serbia

Croatia says it can’t take any more migrants as thousands pour into the country, heading to western Europe this way, having been thwarted at Hungary’s sealed border.


Scores of refugees were entering into Croatia from Serbia, by a connecting bridge in the town of Batina, after they were dispersed by buses the Serbs at its border with Hungary.

“We will be very constructive and cooperative (regarding migrants) but emphasise that there are limits to our capacities”, Milanovic told a cabinet session.

Croatia represents a longer and more arduous route into Europe but those fleeing violence in their homelands had little choice. People who were turned away by Hungary now see Croatia as an alternate route into European Union countries. Social affairs minister Aleksandar Vulin said Serbia will take Croatia to worldwide courts if the border crossings remain closed, arguing that Croatia should have been prepared for the influx.

“We will not pay the price of someone else’s incapability”, Vulin said.

In fact, more than 14,000 have been counted entering Croatia in the past 48 hours – that’s the official estimate.

Police first said they would be sent back, but then the train proceeded to the town of Postojna, some 50 km (30 miles) southwest of the capital Ljubljana, where there is a refugee center.

Slovenia also suspended all train traffic between Slovenia and Croatia until September 18, Slovenian news agency STA reported.

Croatia declared itself overwhelmed and began sending refugees to Hungary by bus, and closing its border crossings with Serbia. It will receive asylum requests, but not create a “corridor” for refugees to simply pass through Slovenia into Austria.

By nightfall, police set up a new perimeter in an attempt to stop more than 1,000 migrants from penetrating farther into Tovarnik, where bullet holes left over from the Balkan wars of the 1990s still scar some buildings.

While Hungary’s Orban has been widely condemned by neighboring governments and multilateral organizations for the use of force against migrants trying to cross from Serbia, he has reportedly found increased support at home for his response to the crisis. “This exceeds our capabilities”, Milanovic added.

Numerous migrants are fleeing conflicts in Syria, Iraq and Afghanistan.

He said Europeans have nothing to fear from people like himself.

“There will be no sandhill or molehill to hide behind, we will defend our borders”.


“We are being put to test”, said Austrian Chancellor Werner Faymann.

The long way round Migrants trek through a field in order to get to Serbia's border with Croatia