Only official border crossings will remain open with much stricter check points
Photos by HINA
As the Hungarian foreign minister Peter Szijjarto announced today, borders were closed at midnight October 17,2015 in a bid to stop the influx of migrants and refugees coming into Hungary from Croatia. This move comes after European Union leaders failed to agree on a scheme to send security forces to Greece and this is Hungary’s way of protecting the outer borders of the Schengen zone.
Speaking after the national security cabinet meeting, Hungarian foreign minister Szijjarto said that normal border check points between Croatia and Hungary will remain open but inspections will be tightened and he vowed to come down heavily on all who try to enter the country illegally through the so called green borders: “We will introduce stricter controls to be able to block border crossings done illegally” Szijjarto said.
He noted that they informed Croatia, Slovenia, Poland, Slovakia, Austria and Germany of their decision and from now on migrants and refugees will be able to apply for asylum in two transit zones that will be set up on the border with Croatia. To prevent any problems, Hungarian army will guard all borders along with water cannons.
Over 383,000 migrants fleeing war and poverty in the Middle East, Africa and Asia have entered Hungary this year and 183,564 of them entered Croatia since the beginning of the crisis, most of them passing through on their way to Germany and other destinations further west in the EU.
After midnight, many of the migrants already in Croatia are expected to try to head toward Slovenia, in accordance with Plan C which was announced on Friday afternoon by Croatia’s minister of interior Ranko Ostojić.