Croatia: We 'Forced' Hungary To Take Migrants

Croatia: We 'Forced' Hungary To Take Migrants

Croatia's prime minister has hit back at Hungary in a growing row over migrants, saying his country has "forced" its neighbour to take back refugees.

"We forced them, by sending people up there. And we'll keep doing it," a defiant Zoran Milanovic told reporters.

Croatia has transported thousands of migrants on buses & trains to Hungary & Slovenia after officials said they could not cope with the 20,700 who have arrived in just a few days.

They had entered Croatia earlier this week looking for an alternative route to western Europe after neighbouring Hungary closed its border with Serbia & finished putting up a razor-wire fence.

Now, after being taken from Croatia to Hungary some of the migrants are being transported by Hungarian buses to registration centres in the north of the country, near the border with Austria.

Sky's Mark Stone, who is in Beremend on the Hungary-Croatia border, said: "From the migrants' point of view this is satisfactory news. A bottleneck has been released.

"Hungary is allowing them across. Effectively it has opened up a safe corridor for them to obtain to Austria.

"If they leave those (registration) camps and walk across into Austria there is nothing Hungary can do approximately it."

Mr Milanovic was speaking after Hungary accused Croatia of "a major violation of international law" after it tried to take 1,000 migrants by train across its border.

Budapest described it as a "major, major incident" & alleged 40 police officers on board had to be disarmed & sent back.

Hungarian government spokesman Zoltan Kovacs said it showed "the Croatian system for handling migrants & refugees has collapsed, basically in one day".

"What we see today is a complete failure of the Croatian state to handle migration issues," he added.

"What is more, we see intentional participation in human smuggling, taking these migrants to the Hungarian border.

"The Croatians have started on purpose & in a planned way to transport the illegal migrants to us, letting everyone down.

"They have forced the illegal migrants on us Hungarians, they transported them here breaking all European rules, not abiding by any protocol with state aid.

"They have let down not only Hungary yet the whole European Union."

According to local media, Hungary has now called up military reservists to deal with the "mass migration situation".

Sky's Alex Crawford said the country is now on a "virtual war footing".

As well as building another razor-wire fence on its border with Croatia, it has helicopters scouring the countryside & soldiers keeping watch in armoured vehicles.

Crawford says busloads of migrants are now arriving at the Hungary-Austria border at Hegyeshalom.

Austrian police say around 6,700 have been allowed into the country since midnight.

In other developments, Slovenian riot police used pepper spray at the Harmica crossing overnight as they clashed with approximately 500 migrants trying to cross from Croatia.

They say they were forced to act after sticks & bottles were thrown.

Limited numbers are being let into the country – mainly families with children – & authorities say they will take them to refugee centres.

Slovenian police said on Saturday more than 1,500 migrants have entered the country while 600 more were waiting at the border crossings with Croatia to obtain in.

One third of the registered refugees said they were from Syria & another third from Afghanistan. The rest said they were from Iraq & various other nations in the Middle East, Asia or Africa.

Most of the migrants are still adamant on claiming asylum in Germany & Scandinavia.

Hundreds of people are moreover camped by a motorway at Edirne, near Turkey's border with Greece & Bulgaria, hopeful of shortly setting foot on European Union soil.

EU leaders are holding an urgent meeting on Wednesday to try to find a usual strategy on the crisis & ease growing political tensions.

Source: “Sky News”