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Refugees still come by the thousands, now via Croatia

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MTI/György Varga

The fence on the Serbian border seems to have changed the travel route of refugees, who now enter Hungary through Croatia, according to reports. Yesterday there were only 498 unauthorized border crossings from Serbia but 6,439 unauthorized crossings from Croatia according to the Hungarian Police.

Refugees board a bus in Letenye, on the Croatian-Hungarian border, arriving from Tovarnik, Croatia. (Photo: MTI/György Varga)

Those asylum seekers coming from Croatia are transported through Hungary to Austria, which is still welcoming refugees at this time.

On Saturday, there were 4,740 unauthorized crossings by asylum seekers coming from Croatia and 166 coming from Serbia, according to the Hungarian Police. On Friday, almost 8,000 unauthorized border crossings by asylum seekers were registered, with most coming from Croatia, police said. 

On September 14, the day before the Serbian border fence was completed and stricter enforcement went into effect on that frontier, more than 9,000 asylum seekers came from that country. Since Tuesday, the number of unauthorized border crossings registered from Serbia dropped to a few hundred. 

Tuesday was also the day that Croatia announced refugees who were stopped at the Hungarian-Serbian border could enter that country, and as of Friday, Croatia started transporting refugees by bus and train to Hungary.

The Hungarian government has already started working on building a 41-km-long fence on the approximately 355 km-long Croatian border, in order to slow the influx of refugees arriving from Croatia. Another 70 km-long fence has been under construction on the Hungarian-Romanian border, in anticipation of the possibility that refugees will come from that country.

Meanwhile Croatia has said it will keep sending refugees to Hungary. On Saturday, Croatian Prime Minister Zoran Milanovic said that his country would continue to force Hungary to take asylum seekers by sending trains and buses full of refugees. A Croatian daily newspaper reported yesterday that, if Hungary decides to close Croatian border crossings, the Croatian government will keep sending refugees to Hungary in an unorganized manner, without escorting them.


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