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.
“That means several tens of thousands of refugees in Hungary will be looking for a way out”. Hungary has declared a state of emergency in two of its southern counties bordering Serbia because of the migrat…
“Based on our history, we are always in solidarity with the refugees”, Peter Szijjarto told The Associated Press in an interview.
But minister Jiri Dienstbier says the Czech Republic should show solidarity and share the refugee burden on a voluntary basis, possibly accepting 7,000-15,000 people.
Thomas Mattsson, of tabloid Expressen, on Thursday told Hungary’s ambassador to Sweden, Lilla Makkay, that what happened to photographer Meli Petersson Ellafi a day earlier was “unacceptable”. In one spot a carpet still covered three rolls of razor wire.
Merkel later took a more conciliatory tone, calling for Europe to come together on the refugee issue.
“I don’t know what to do stay here or try some other way to cross the border”, said Ahmed Sami from Aleppo, Syria. “This is tragic”.
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. Children and babies cried while men walked for kilometres (miles) to the nearest shops to buy water and food.
“The border was shut and has yet to reopen”, UNHCR spokesman Babar Baloch said. “We are feeling hungry and feeling angry”.
The Serbian-Hungarian border has been the main route for refugees to enter the European Union, majority bound for Germany.
“We are now making an initial assessment of the new Hungarian law and we have asked a certain number of clarifications from the Hungarian authorities“, Natasha Bertaud, European Union commission spokesperson said.
Chancellor Angela Merkel appealed for European unity after one of her ministers called for financial penalties against countries that refused to accommodate their share of the migrants, provoking anger in central Europe.
Greek police said some 5,000 people trying to reach Western Europe crossed the country’s northern border with Macedonia over the 24-hour period from Tuesday morning to Wednesday morning.
Austria reserves the right to deny entry to migrants coming from Hungary if they do not want to apply for asylum, a spokesman for the Interior Ministry in Vienna said on Friday, after Hungary started taking hundreds of refugees towards its Austrian border.
“We agreed that this is going to require cooperation with all the European countries and the United States and the worldwide community in order to ensure that people are safe, that they are treated with shared humanity and that we also may have to deal with the source of the problem, which is the ongoing crisis in Syria”. Referring to Hungary’s fence, Milanovic says “barbed wire in Europe in the 21st century is not an answer, it’s a threat”.
Dozens of police and aid workers waited for the migrants in Croatia, where they are being registered.
Hungary’s prime minister says the country will build a fence on some sections of its border with Croatia, an alternate migration route into Western Europe some migrants have begun to use.
They are desperate to get around the border fence Hungary has thrown up along its border with Serbia, where tensions boiled into violence on Wednesday at the flashpoint Horgos-Roszke crossing, after around 500 refugees had been blocked on their march north.
Elsewhere in Europe, migrants remained on the move.