Daily Management Review

Croatia refuses to Hold Refugees but will Move Them on to Other Countries


Croatia refuses to Hold Refugees but will Move Them on to Other Countries
Refuges would no longer be registered and accommodated in Croatia in accordance with EU rules but will be moved on, announced the Croatian prime minister while saying that the country would no longer carry the burden of the thousands of refugees and migrants who have entered in recent days.

Following the closure of Hungary's Serbian border since Wednesday, more than 13,000 people have entered Croatia from Serbia.

Even though people are continuing to enter through the countryside, Croatia has closed seven of its eight road border crossings with Serbia.

“We cannot register and accommodate these people any longer. They will get food, water and medical help, and then they can move on. The European Union must know that Croatia will not become a migrant hotspot,” Zoran Milanović, the Croatian PM, told a news conference.

“We have hearts, but we also have heads,” said Milanovic echoing the language adopted by David Cameron earlier this month.

Though it was not immediately clear how Croatia would solve the situation as both Hungary and Slovenia are taking steps to keep people out, Milanović announced that his country cannot and will not close its borders, but will redirect people towards Hungary and Slovenia and further towards Western Europe.

“What else can we do? You are welcome in Croatia and you can pass through Croatia. But, go on. Not because we don’t like you but because this is not your final destination,” Milanović said.
On Friday Croatian authorities sent 19 buses carrying migrants and refugees to the Hungarian border village of Beremend to signal application of the new policy. It was not clear where the refugees would be heading exactly after they were picked up from there by Hungarian buses.

Friday’s announcement came after Milanović, on Wednesday, had optimistically declared the country was “ready to accept and direct” refugees and migrants. But the decision was changed within a day after the Croatian government that this crisis is beyond what any single country can deal with on an unplanned, unilateral basis.

After it had become apparent that the government had not prepared enough transport or water for the huge volume of people entering from the east, there was tension among the refugees and tempers flared at Tovarnik, near Croatia’s Serbian border,

The inability of European governments to comprehend and prepare for the continent’s biggest wave of mass migration since the second world war became apparent when hundreds of refugees rushed past police lines in a desperate effort to grab the few available places onboard trains heading north to Zagreb and into Slovenia.

More than 100 people were being held at a makeshift processing centre in the border town of Brežice after they had crossed into Slovenia from Croatia. But all rail traffic between the two countries has been stopped by Slovenia as it has been returning others to Croatia.

On the other hand, razor-wire fences were being erected by the Hungarian authorities along a stretch of its border with Croatia.