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.
With the flow into Croatia reaching more than 13,000, Prime Minister Zoran Milanovic warned matters were out of control and that his government would no longer be able to register or accommodate the migrants.
On Friday morning, thousands were also stranded at Tovernik train station in Croatia, just over the border with Serbia, as trains were held from proceeding on to Zagreb.
Germany on Friday criticised Hungary’s border closures to refugees, saying they do “not contribute to a sustainable solution” to the refugee crisis.
Overnight, Hungarian authorities positioned barbed wire and a new gate at the border where the clashes occurred, which was at one of two border crossings near the Serbian village of Horgos.
Aleksandar Vulin, Serbia’s social affairs minister, said Serbia will take Croatia to worldwide courts if the global border crossings remain closed.
Hungary has accused Croatia of committing “a major violation of global law” by trying to transport 1,000 migrants by train across its border. He also said that Croatia had no capacity to receive new refugees.
The sudden influx comes a day after Hungarian police fired tear gas and water cannon at a group of refugees that surged through a border fence that was erected earlier this week to prevent their entering from Serbia.
The Croatian police are collecting them along the so-called green border and taking them to the town of Tovarnik.
On Wednesday, the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees urged Europe to make changes, such as establishing reception centers in Greece (where more than 300,000 people have made their first landfall).
Earlier, crowds pushed through police lines in the eastern Croatia town of Torvarnik, with people trampling and falling on each other amid the chaos.
Peter Szijjarto said in a statement that instead of abiding by European Union rules, Croatia was encouraging thousands of migrants to cross the border illegally.
Meanwhile, in Paris, French authorities evacuated more than 500 Syrian and other migrants from tent camps and moved them to special housing as the country steps up efforts to deal with Europe’s migrant wave.
Hungary’s crackdown has shifted pressure onto Croatia, Slovenia and Romania.