Hungary says fence with Croatia near completion

He said since the completion of the fence in mid-September almost 60,000 migrants have entered Austria via Hungary, and stressed the need for a common European approach to the problem.


Zagreb now buses a large majority of the migrants straight to the border with Hungary, and Prime Minister Viktor Orban said yesterday that Budapest eventually planned to seal its border with Croatia too.

But migrants have changed their routes and are now pouring into the country from Croatia, and Hungary has started to erect a fence on that border as well.

Serbia has banned imports from Croatia to protest against Zagreb’s decision to close the border to cargo, with Croatia responding by banning all Serbian-registered vehicles from entering the country.

Croatian police said Friday the border is now open “to all traffic without restrictions”.

And as diplomatic wranglings continued, the worldwide Organization for Migration said more than 493,000 people had arrived in Europe since the beginning of the year.

Vucic urged the Serbian ministers to build the best relations with Croatia and other neighbors.

“It needs only this one number to clarify that we are dealing not only with a German challenge, not only with a European, but a global challenge, which each region, every country, every political level, each institution has to contribute to addressing, ” she said. Near the border with Serbia ex-military facilities are being converted into another reception centre.

In Croatia, meanwhile, rain and colder temperatures added to the misery of people, many of whom had taken perilous sea journeys to land in Greece and start walking for days to go north.

After pressure from the European Union, Croatia has re-opened its border with Serbia, ending a week-long standoff that had plunged relations between the two Balkan states to their lowest since Yugoslavia broke up in bloodshed in the 1990s.

How it could be stopped “was the big question of the next few days and weeks, I am trying to seek supporters for this”, Orban told a news conference after meeting Austrian Chancellor Werner Faymann.

“I won’t allow that they make fools out of us and that they are sending all (migrants) to Croatia”, Milanovic told reporters.

Earlier on Friday, European Union enlargement commissioner Johannes Hahn, speaking in Belgrade, called on Croatia to lift restrictions at the border, saying it had no alternative.

On Thursday alone, about 1,200 people crossed in boats from Turkey to the Greek island of Lesbos in under an hour, following the 2,500 who had made the risky passage the previous day.


It has already laid a razor-wire barrier along 40 kilometres of the frontier with Croatia not marked by the Drava river, and on Thursday Slovenia’s foreign ministry said Hungary had also begun building a barrier on its border – the first within the passport-free Schengen zone.