Tags: EU | Europe | Migrants | The Latest

The Latest: PM: Croatia Forced Hungary to Let Migrants in

Saturday, 19 September 2015 07:13 AM EDT

BUDAPEST, Hungary (AP) — The latest developments as European governments rush to cope with the huge number of people moving across Europe. All times local (CET):

12:50 p.m.

Croatia's prime minister says his government has forced Hungary to let migrants into the country again after sealing off the border with Serbia earlier this week.

Zoran Milanovic said Saturday there was no agreement with Hungary to accept the refugees at the border with Croatia, but that "we made them take the refugees by sending people there." He added that "we'll keep on doing it."

Croatia on Friday said it was overwhelmed by the influx of thousands of people in just a few days and would be sending them to Slovenia and Hungary. Migrants turned to Croatia on Wednesday after being pushed away from Hungary.

Most migrants fleeing war and poverty want to proceed toward the rich countries of Western Europe such as Germany or Sweden.

12:35 p.m.

Hungary's military says it is calling up 500 army reservists as it struggles to reinforce its borders against huge numbers of migrants pushing into Europe.

The Defense Ministry said in a statement Saturday that Defense Minister Istvan Simicsko ordered the reservists to report "due to the state of crisis caused by the illegal migrants."

Hungary became a major entry point into the European Union this year as many refugees fleeing war traveled to Western Europe. In recent days the country has tried to close off its borders with razor-wire and other tough measures. Still, Hungary had no choice but to allow thousands into the country on Friday after Croatia could not cope with huge numbers there. Hungary has been transporting them to Austria.

The government has deployed thousands of armed troops to the border as the country has imposed a state of emergency in border areas.

A top general, Tibor Benko, said the reservists are former soldiers who will mostly fill in for active-duty soldiers to keep normal operations going in barracks, though some could also be deployed to the border.

12:25 p.m.

Croatian police say 20,737 migrants have entered the country since Wednesday on their journey toward the rich nations of Western Europe.

Police said Saturday more people are coming in from Serbia, mostly near the eastern border town of Tovarnik, where there are already 2,500 people waiting for transport.

The Croatian government said Friday it was overwhelmed by the influx and would be sending people toward Slovenia and Hungary. Migrants are being transported by trains and buses toward the borders with the two neighboring countries.

Most of the migrants, who are fleeing war and poverty in the Middle East and Africa, want to go to Germany or the Scandinavian countries. Austria said Saturday 6,700 people have arrived there since midnight.

12:10 p.m.

Right-wing rioters have protested in front of a new asylum shelter in the eastern German town of Bischofswerda, throwing a bottle at a bus arriving with refugees and shouting racist slurs at them.

The German news agency dpa reported Saturday that around 100 rioters tried to block the road to the asylum shelter and that police had to protect the refugees from them as they entered the building late Friday.

It was the second night in a row that Bischofswerda, east of Dresden, witnessed protests against the asylum center. Last month, dozens of police were injured when more than a hundred right-wing extremists attacked a refugee home in Heidenau, south of Dresden. After the riots, German Chancellor visited the shelter and met with refugees, officials and volunteers.

11:55 a.m.

Slovenian police say more than 1,000 migrants have entered the country and hundreds more are camping on the border crossings with Croatia waiting to pass.

Police said Friday they were processing the migrants and placing them in refugee centers around the country, although most migrants have said they want to go further toward Western Europe.

As temperatures dipped overnight, hundreds of migrants at the Obrezje crossing set up tents camping there without food and water while Slovenian police allowed limited numbers in.

Migrants also have been going in at the Harmica border crossing where riot police Friday evening pepper sprayed about 500 migrants on a bridge along the Croatian border.

Police say pepper spray was used because refugees were throwing bottles and sticks on police and pushing them.

11:10 a.m.

A Greek coast guard spokesman says a 5-year-old girl who was retrieved unconscious from the sea off the Greek island of Lesbos has died in hospital.

Nikos Lagadianos says a coast guard vessel rescued 10 other migrants from the same boat, while one managed to swim ashore, and 14 are still missing.

Lagadianos said survivors told authorities a total of 26 were on the boat, which sank when water leaked into it. The search operation continues.

The migrants' nationalities were not known yet, the spokesman said. The vast majority of the over 300,000 migrants who have crossed into Greece in 2015 are Syrians and Iraqis.

11:10 a.m.

Croatia's president is demanding reassurances from the European Union that it will help her small country deal with the influx of migrants.

In an interview with The Associated Press early Saturday, President Kolinda Grabar Kitarovic said that the country of 4.2 million people needs to be realistic about what it can do about the thousands fleeing conflict and poverty in the Middle East and Africa.

The migrants and refugees want to transit Croatia in hopes of seeking asylum in more wealthy Western European nations, such as Germany.

"We need to stop the flow, we need to get reassurances from European Union what happens to these people who are already in Croatia, and those who still want to transit through Croatia further," she said.

10:45 a.m.

Police say 6,700 migrants have arrived in Austria since midnight after Hungary started escorting people to the country's border.

Police spokesman Helmut Marban said Saturday about 4,200 people crossed the border at Heiligenkreuz, near the southern city of Graz, while the rest used the Nickelsdorf crossing near Vienna.

Police say border controls continue to be in place, with vehicles being selectively checked and those inside asked for valid travel documents.

9:00 a.m.

Thousands of migrants, many lacking food and water, remain trapped in southeast Europe after countries began putting up barriers that have blocked their passage to Western Europe.

On Saturday, Hungarian authorities were escorting hundreds of people to the border with Austria after Croatia became overwhelmed and dumped them on Hungary's doorstep the day before.

It wasn't yet clear how Austria would react to the large influx of people fleeing conflict and poverty in the Middle East and Africa.

In Slovenia, hundreds of people camped out overnight in Obrezje, a town just across the border from Croatia. Authorities only allowed limited numbers of families with women and children to continue on. Many migrants put up tents while others tried their best to keep warm as the temperatures dipped overnight.

© Copyright 2024 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

The latest developments as European governments rush to cope with the huge number of people moving across Europe. All times local (CET):12:50 p.m.Croatia's prime minister says his government has forced Hungary to let migrants into the country again after sealing off the...
EU,Europe,Migrants,The Latest
Saturday, 19 September 2015 07:13 AM
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