Hungary has declared its southern border with Croatia closed to what it calls “illegal migrants”, diverting them into tiny Slovenia in a measure of Europe’s disjointed response to the flow of people reaching its shores in flight from war and poverty. Aljazeera has more:
A last train drew up at the border, and some 2,000 refugees disembarked for the short, muddy walk past razor wire into Hungary prior to a midnight cut-off time expiring on Friday night. “The ‘green border’ has been closed [to ‘illegal migrants’] but you can still cross the border legally and seek asylum,” government spokesman Zoltan Kovacs told the AFP news agency early on Saturday.
Hungary has erected a steel fence almost the length of its southern frontier, declaring it is duty-bound to secure the borders of the European Union to protect what it calls the prosperity, security and “Christian values” of Europe. Hungarian Foreign Minister Peter Szijjarto said on Friday that the government was aware that the situation is not ideal.
“We know that this is not the best – only the second-best solution,” he said. “But the best solution did not come about [on Thursday] at the European Council meeting as there is no agreement on the protection of the external borders of Greece.” A month ago, the right-wing government of Hungary’s fiercely anti-immigration prime minister, Viktor Orban, shut down the refugee route across its frontier with Serbia, slamming the door on thousands of refugees.