Hungary to Return Train, 66% of Croats Support Government Crisis Handling

Total Croatia News

Strong public support for Croatian government handling of migrant crisis, as Hungary agrees to repatriate a refugee train. 

Croatian president Kolinda Grabar-Kitarović arrived yesterday to Hungary for an official visit. She met with Hungarian president Janos Ader and prime minister Viktor Orban. One of the topics of their meetings was the refugee train which Hungary detained several weeks ago when the train allegedly illegally entered Hungarian territory accompanied by a few dozen Croatian police officers, reports Vecernji List on October 8, 2015.

Asked about the train yesterday, Hungarian president Janos Ader answered he was surprised because he thought the train had long since been returned to Croatia. “I hope this problem will be resolved quickly, let us that be our biggest problem”, said Ader.

President Grabar-Kitarović discussed the issue of the refugee train with Hungarian prime minister Viktor Orban. It has been reported that she and Orban agreed the train would be returned to Croatia very soon. “This is a proof that problems can be resolved through discussion and dialogue”, said the president. However, Croatian Interior Ministry reported in a statement that the return of the refugee train had been agreed a week ago during a meeting between the police leaderships of two countries.

During their meeting, Grabar-Kitarović and Ader discussed the relations between the two countries in the context of migrant crisis, as well as all the consequences which are facing the two countries and the whole European Union. “Unfortunately, in recent days our relations have been overshadowed by strong rhetoric about the migrant crisis”, said the president, adding that she and president Ader have agreed they will not allow the crisis to leave a lasting mark on the two countries which must remain an example of good neighbourly relations and friendship.

From midnight to 9 pm yesterday, 3,680 migrants entered Croatia, with 1,551 people currently being housed at the Opatovac reception centre. From the beginning of the migration crisis, Croatia has received 128,159 migrants.

French president Francois Hollande and German chancellor Angela Merkel addressed the European Parliament in Strasbourg on Wednesday. The aim of their joint address was to present a common position towards the refugee crisis.

“We must act in emergency situations, there are no wire fences which can threaten us from the outside. We have to create a vision and find a solution, we need a united Europe”, said Hollande.

The German chancellor said that a large number of refugees was a test of historical significance. “We cannot exclude ourselves from the world and what happens in it. No one voluntarily leaves his or her home. We must not act only on the national level, we must act together. Right now, we need more Europe. We need cooperation and courage”, said Merkel. “For hundreds of years, people were leaving Europe, but it has now become a place where people come to realize their dreams and avoid their worst fears. We have become a community of values ​​and laws, and we have to turn towards these values: human dignity, human rights and solidarity”, said the German chancellor.

Merkel also called on EU members to adhere to a new system that they created, since the Dublin rules no longer exist. “Let us be honest, the Dublin Agreement in its current form is obsolete. It has not proved to be viable when faced with major challenges at our borders”, said Merkel. “Isolated actions in the refugee crisis are not good, but together we will succeed to better protect refugees. That is why I advocate that we share this burden”, concluded Merkel.

RTL Television conducted a poll of Croatian citizens to find out what they think about the government’s handling of the refugee crisis. The results show that as much as two-thirds of citizens support the government’s policy towards refugees. One-fifth of the citizens do not support the government, while less than 15 percent of respondents have no position.

More than 90 percent of SDP voters supports the government, as well as more than 37 percent of HDZ voters, which is quite a surprise. Four-fifths of voters share the government’s view that the wall on the borders should not be built.

Asked what should Croatia do if Germany and Austria were to close their borders for refugees, 43.5 percent of citizens would accept a smaller number of refugees, with the rest being sent to the country from which they crossed the Croatian border. Thirty one percent would close the border with Serbia with a wall and stopped receiving refugees, while 12 percent would accept tens of thousands of refugees, but with financial assistance of the European Union.


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