Hungary to seal off Croatia border to stop refugees

Hungary to seal off Croatia border to stop refugees
Hungary will seal off its border to Croatia to prevent refugees crossing through its territory to Austria, Prime Minister Viktor Orban said.
2 min read
25 September, 2015
Hungary is now closing its border with Croatia, to "stem" the entry of refugees [Getty]

Hungary's hard-line Prime Minister Viktor Orban said Friday that Budapest eventually plans to seal its border with Croatia to stop the influx of tens of thousands of migrants bound for northern Europe.

"The influx of migrants is not going to abate... We want to stop people crossing," Orban told reporters in Vienna after a meeting aimed at smoothing over differences with Austrian Chancellor Werner Faymann.

"Introducing the border protection to Serbia has met expectations. Our duty is to make it happen on the Hungarian-Croatian border as well," he said.

Orban said however that he would seek to secure international support before closing the border.

Hungary has seen more than 250,000 refugees enter the country this year, travelling up from Greece through the western Balkans and hoping to make it to northern Europe, in particular Germany and Sweden.

On September 15 Hungary effectively sealed its Serbian border - the main route into Hungary - with razor wire and by barring the official crossing points.

This has since diverted 55,000 people in the past nine days into Croatia.

But Croatia, overwhelmed by the new arrivals, has been transferring them to its border with Hungary, which then transports them to the Austrian frontier.

Hungary has also begun closing off the 41-kilometre (25.5-mile) stretch of its border with Croatia not covered by the impassable Drava River.

At present, migrants are entering Hungary from Croatia via official border crossing points.

Hungary announced on Thursday that it has also started to roll out barbed wire along its border with Slovenia, the first such known measure between two members of Europe's passport-free Schengen zone.