The latest on the migrant crisis in Croatia.
This morning, most of the refugess and migrants are entering Croatia at Bapska and Tovarnik areas. The are being brought to the Opatovac reception camp, from where they are then being transferred to the border with Hungary. The number of refugees at the camp in Opatovac is continuously increasing due to the refugees coming from the Bapska area. Refugees are waiting patiently to enter the tent where they must be registered and examined by a doctor. So far, there were no contageous diseases found, but refugees often complain of sores on the feet and exhaustion, reports Index.hr and Vecernji List on September 23, 2015.
Late yesterday evening, Croatian interior minister Ranko Ostojić told reporters that 39,000 refugees have so far entered Croatia, and that 32,000 refugees have already left the country. This morning, the number of arrivals has increased to over 40,000.
Croatian Railways have reported that the fourteenth train with refugees departed Tovarnik at 9:30 am this morning. It will arrive to Botovo at the border with Hungary in about four and a half hours.
Due to the blockade of traffic by truck drivers in Serbia, the passenger traffic between Serbia and Croatia has been diverted from the Bajakovo border crossing to the Tovarnik border crossing. Croatia is trying to put pressure on Serbia to start sending some of the refugees to its border with Hungary. Serbia has threatened with countermeasures in case the freight traffic at Bajakovo is not normalized by midnight. “I am sure that Serbia will not do anything against Croatia”, said yesterday prime minister Zoran Milanović, reacting to the statement by Serbian prime minister Aleksandar Vučić that a package of countermeasures against Croatia will be adopted if Croatia does not open the Bajakovo border crossing for all vehicles.
Due to the emergency situation at the Bajakovo border crossing, the traffic of passenger cars, buses and trucks up to 7.5 tonnes has been diverted to the border crossing Tovarnik. Vehicles over 7.5 tonnes have to go through the border crossing Stara Gradiška at the BiH border. Border crossings with Serbia Ilok, Ilok 2, Principovac Principovac 2, Erdut and Batina are still closed for all traffic.
Prime minister Milanović will today participate at a meeting of EU leaders in Brussels where it is expected that the plan for the deployment of 120,000 migrants across Europe will be adopted. The refugee quota system was agreed yesterday by the EU interior ministers. Romania, Czech Republic, Slovakia and Hungary voted against, while Finland abstained. The leaders will also discuss the broader solution for the major refugee crisis in Europe.
American president Barack Obama and German chancellor Angela Merkel talked yesterday by phone and agreed that a joint European solution for the Syrian refugees problem is needed. They also talked about eliminating crisis “at the source”, by the search for a sustainable political solution in Syria.