Migrants turn to Croatia for new European Union entry after Hungary closes

And Austria is planning new controls on its border with Slovenia, another possible route.


The Hungarian police announced Tuesday that the country has closed its borders to the influx of migrants and refugees attempting to cross into the European Union.

Worse, Hungary said if necessary, it would extend the fence to its border with Romania, a proposal the latter denounced, which leaves the refugees stranded in no man’s land or seeking alternative routes through Serbia and Croatia.

Croatia’s government has formed a crisis body to deal with the thousands of migrants pouring into the country from Serbia after Hungary sealed its border.

Luxembourg, which now holds the presidency of the European Union , said the aim of the “extraordinary” meeting was to get ministers to approve plans for the redistribution of 120,000 refugees now in Greece, Italy and Hungary. For that to happen, there is need of coordination and the cooperation of all European Union members, something that is not forecast for anytime soon.

He spoke in Budapest on Thursday, a day after baton-wielding Hungarian riot police used tear gas and water cannons on hundreds of migrants after a group pushed open a gate at the now-sealed border with Serbia.

The UN High Commissioner for Refugees still advised against returning refugees to Serbia, which lacked the capacity to process their claims and care for them, its policy since 2012, Ms Fleming said.

Social media reports said on Tuesday that refugees who began their hunger strike protest in the Roszke “collection point” are demanding that the Hungarian government open the border.

“For the moment, we haven’t reinforced our units but now, with the changing situation, we will certainly need to concentrate our units at the expected border crossings to speed up the procedures with migrants”, he added.

Upward of 500 migrants are waiting to cross into Germany from Austria, with police giving precedence to families with children and elderly people.

Underlining the dangers of the journey the refugees face, Croatia has warned of the dangers posed to them by landmines left over from the Balkan wars of the 1990s.

The asylum-seekers, who were escorted into court in handcuffs, were expelled from Hungary and banned from re-entering the country for either one or two years. “The access to protection should be granted to everyone who asks for it in Europe,” he said.

“We fled wars and violence and did not expect such brutality and inhumane treatment in Europe“, said Amir Hassan of Iraq, soaking wet from the water cannon and trying to wash tear gas from his eyes.

It was clear that Hungary’s ties with Serbia were facing deep strains. Croatian Foreign Minister Vesna Pusic said the country “cannot force anyone to stay”.

Migrants who managed to cross into Hungary at new registration points on Tuesday were dealt with under a new border regime the country introduced.

The European Commission said it is looking into the new measures to check that they are in line with EU rules. He said Hungary was willing to make a “massive contribution” to such efforts.

Many had camped out on the Austrian side of the border overnight.

Thousands of migrants and refugees have taken trains from Salzburg to Munich for more than a week. That reflects the possibility that people now streaming into Austria from Hungary could instead try to cross into Austria over those borders in large numbers.


Abolfazl Ebrahimi, a 17-year-old Afghan who was in Athens on Tuesday, said his group plans to pass through Croatia now that Hungary’s border is closed.

Refugees in danger won't be turned away despite border controls, Austria says