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Slovenia Shuts Croatian Border
“Our borders are in danger, our way of life built on respect for the law, Hungary and the whole of Europe is in danger”, the 52 year old said in Budapest.
Police said on Friday that 453 illegal immigrants were detained in Baranya county next to the Croatian border by midnight, mostly Syrians and Afghans.
“We need to rethink many European inventions, institutions and treaties”. Twenty-seven interviewees, including three children, said they experienced abuse at the hands of Macedonian officials at the border with Greece.
Overwhelmed by refugees, and in a bid to better regulate the influx and catch human traffickers, Berlin on September 13 decided to temporarily reintroduce passport checks on its borders, though it still allows the migrants into the country.
Some were loaded onto buses and sent back towards Hungary, which has taken a hardline stance on the refugee crisis, and fortified its borders.
Almost half a million people fleeing war and poverty, two-fifths of them from Syria, have crossed the Mediterranean this year to reach Europe, overwhelming the EU’s southern states and plunging them into furious rows over border controls. Unable to cope, Zagreb has waved the migrants on to Hungary again.
“I think it is perfectly clear that what we are seeing is organised transport of migrants directly to Croatia (from Serbia)”, Croatian Interior Minister Ranko Ostojic told RTL television late on Monday.
The Hungarian prime minister clearly also hopes that the plan will prove his own fence-building approach right – that Europe should defend its borders first, before it even starts discussing quotas.
But the migrants are moving through the country to other destinations fairly efficiently, Croatia said, with 5,100 transported out of the country on Monday and a further 1,160 by Tuesday morning.
A survivor whose name was given as Haseen told Greek state news agency ANA: “It was dark, we saw the ship bearing down on us”.
By next week, the European Union member leaders in Brussels will have an emergency meeting to coordinate the dispersion of 160,000 refugees among its member states. Croatia shut down all but one of its border crossings with Serbia last week to block the flow of migrants, which has now reached 34,900 in less than a week.
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.
In an op-ed in the Gazeta Wyborcza daily, Polish foreign minister Grzegorz Schetyna said the country is able to take in refugees but “on a voluntary basis”.
“Most of all people are confused”, says Collard.
French President Francois Hollande said he wanted the ministers to deal with the most hard aspects of the crisis at that meeting so European Union leaders can focus on financing the plan at a summit the following day.