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Some 4,000 migrants enter Croatia in past 24 hours

/ 02:52 PM September 17, 2015
Migrant rests after crossing the Greece-Macedonia border near the town of Gevgelija on September 16, 2015. Migrants began to cross from Serbia into Croatia, desperate to find a new way into the European Union after Hungary sealed its border and a string of EU countries tightened frontier controls in the face of an unprecedented human influx. Pressure is building for a special EU summit to come up with solutions to the crisis, with the bloc bitterly split and free movement across borders -- a pillar of the European project -- in jeopardy, with Germany further calling it into question by boosting controls on parts of its frontier with France.      AFP PHOTO / NIKOLAY DOYCHINOV

Migrant rests after crossing the Greece-Macedonia border near the town of Gevgelija on September 16, 2015. Migrants began to cross from Serbia into Croatia, desperate to find a new way into the European Union after Hungary sealed its border and a string of EU countries tightened frontier controls in the face of an unprecedented human influx. Pressure is building for a special EU summit to come up with solutions to the crisis, with the bloc bitterly split and free movement across borders — a pillar of the European project — in jeopardy, with Germany further calling it into question by boosting controls on parts of its frontier with France. AFP PHOTO / NIKOLAY DOYCHINOV

ZAGREB, Croatia — Some 4,000 migrants have entered Croatia from Serbia in the past 24 hours after Hungary sealed its border, national state-run HRT television reported on Thursday.

New migrants were continuing to enter the European Union (EU) member on its eastern border, which became their new route on the journey to western Europe, the Croatian channel reported.

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A special train transporting some 800 migrants from Tovarnik, near the Serbian border, arrived in Dugo Selo, near Zagreb, around 03:30 GMT, an AFP photographer reported.

The migrants were being transferred to a reception center in nearby Jezevo.

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Croatian Foreign Minister Vesna Pusic said late Wednesday that the country was prepared for the arrival of migrants but could not cope if the numbers increased dramatically.

“We are ready to (provide) asylum to a few thousand people and we can handle that, but we are not ready for tens of thousands,” Pusic told HRT.

“We do not have capacities” for such an influx, she added.

Croatian Prime Minister Zoran Milanovic was to hold talks in Zagreb later Thursday with his Austrian counterpart, Chancellor Werner Faymann. Faymann would then travel to Ljubljana to meet Slovenian premier Miro Cerar, his office said.

Milanovic had vowed that his country would allow free passage of migrants across its territory.

A crisis meeting of the country’s top security body, the National Security Council, was to be held on Friday.

The former Yugoslav republic has some 6,000 border police deployed.

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Since the start of the crisis the Croatian authorities have urged solidarity with migrants, recalling its own role in accommodating hundreds of thousands of refugees and displaced people during the 1990s Balkans wars.

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TAGS: Asylum, border, Croatia, EU, Europe, European Union, Germany, Hungary, influx, Migrant, refugee
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