Croatia to redirect refugees to Hungary border

Aleksandar Vulin, Serbia’s social affairs minister, said Serbia will take Croatia to global courts if the worldwide border crossings remain closed, arguing that it should have been prepared for the influx.


Migrants attempting to reach Western Europe were left with a hard choice: Stay and contend with Hungary’s tough new border defenses, or set out through Croatia on another uncertain path toward the European Union’s wealthier nations.

“Two hundred police have been assigned to the Croatian border”, Orban said.

ABC’s Tom Rivers joined us from London to discuss.

A migrant child looks on next to police officers at the Croatia-Slovenia border crossing at Bregana, …

Initially, the Croatian government said it would provide safe passage for people heading towards Europe’s richer north, but on Thursday Interior Minister Ranko Ostojic declared: “Don’t come here anymore”.

What is the next route through Europe?

After the situation calmed, groups of refugees moved off on foot, with police unable to stop them.

The BBC’s Lyse Doucet, at Tovarnik, described a mad rush as the first train for 24 hours pulled in on Thursday evening. Large crowds jostled for food and water from a small Red Cross team at the scene.

In the afternoon, buses began taking migrants to another station to travel on to Zagreb. Around 100 people crossed into Slovenia from Croatia and were being held at a makeshift processing centre in the border town of Berizce.

The BBC’s Lucy Williamson witnessed thousands of jubilant migrants streaming across the bridge and through the border, into Croatia and the EU.

Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban said the first phase of the 41-kilometer (25-mile) barrier on the Croatian border will be completed Friday, with coils of razor wire being laid down before the actual fence goes up.

Thousands of migrants poured into Croatia on Thursday, quickly overwhelming authorities, who warned the country had limited capacity to cope with an expected influx of 20,000 over the next two weeks.

Hungary’s decision to close its border with Serbia and use water cannon and tear gas to repel migrants on Wednesday was criticised by the United Nations’ top human rights official.

Hungarian media have reported that dozens of migrants were crossing from Croatia into Hungary at Illocska, within 50km (30 miles) of Bezdan – thus avoiding the fence on Hungary’s border with Serbia. “Hungary will defend itself”, said Foreign Minister Peter Szijjarto, calling the global reaction “bizarre and shocking”.

Upon entry, refugees are taken to refugee centres where they are registered and can apply for asylum.

Asked whether Croatia could redirect people toward Slovenia, Milanovic noted that “Hungary is three times closer”.

EU President Donald Tusk has called for an emergency summit next Wednesday. Instead, they are trying to reach Western European countries like Germany that have said they are welcome.

Austrian Interior Ministry spokesman Karl-Heinz Grundboeck said his country had started border control measures on its southern border with Slovenia.

It contains plans to cut cash benefits for immigrants, speed up asylum procedures and deportations, and punish people who file false asylum claims.


Hundreds of thousands of people, many of them Syrians fleeing war, have sought refuge in the European Union this year.

EU rebukes Hungary as refugee crisis tensions escalate