While the ministers talked in Brussels, migrants scuffled with police at a transit camp in Croatia, and nations in southeast Europe scolded and threatened each other as the unrelenting flow of asylum-seekers raised diplomatic tensions to a boiling point.
German rail operator Deutsche Bahn meanwhile said it would suspend key services to and from Austria and Hungary until October 4th, citing border controls introduced to manage a record migrant influx.
European Union interior ministers are set to meet in Brussels on Tuesday ahead of a bloc-wide emergency summit on Wednesday. “We are being run over,” he said.
A similar wall on the border with Serbia has proven its efficacy.
So far, 34,900 migrants have been allowed into Croatia, the Ministry of Interior said in a statement. Those fleeing violence in their homelands have faced riot police in Hungary, Macedonia, Slovenia and Turkey.
The country has erected a razor-wire barrier along its 175km border with Serbia and along 40km of its border with Croatia not marked by the Drava river.
Last week, other legislation came into force allowing Hungary to jail anyone caught crossing the border illegally, which carries a maximum fine of five years in prison.
But his Serbian counterpart Aleksandar Vucic on Tuesday gave the European Commission “a deadline of 2:00pm (1200 GMT) to do something (regarding Croatia’s decision) or Serbia will protect itself with certain measures”, Beta news agency reported. The two nations have a tense history after fighting bitterly in the Balkan wars of the 1990s.
Talking to reporters in the Lithuanian capital of Vilnius, Mogherini said Monday that “our internal unity strengthens our external action or weakens it”.
The Czech Republic is among several central European countries to have sparred with Germany and others over accepting some of the hundreds of thousands of people flooding into Europe.
Attempts by Austrian police to deny entry to some migrants trying to cross its southern border with Slovenia proved ineffectual as they were grossly outnumbered.
Hungarian Foreign Minister Peter Szijjarto called the Croatian prime minister’s handing of the crisis “pathetic”. “To build fences between two European Union members, Hungary and Romania, is an unheard-of thing and has nothing to do with the European spirit”.
Germany alone expects up to a million asylum seekers this year.
In Greece, bad weather created more misery as thunderstorms drenched hundreds who had been camping out in a main square in Athens.
“We will work hard and I think it is unacceptable if Europe sends a message to the world that today there is no possible solution”. And so many people traveling with small children. “But nobody here seems to know where exactly these trains are going”.
Police spokesman Helmut Marban said Tuesday that most of Monday’s arrivals at the Nickelsdorf crossing east of Vienna had already been brought to emergency shelters elsewhere in the country.
Around 300 refugees were stuck at the border crossing after Croatia decided to let them pass through the country on their way to Western Europe, in response to receiving more than 20,000 people over the past four days.