OPATOVAC, Croatia–Hungary’s policy toward migrants is “unacceptable” and will not stop the flow of desperate people trying to reach Europe, the prime minister of neighboring Croatia, Zoran Milanovic, said Tuesday. “For me Budapest’s policy is totally unacceptable, from the human point of view,” Milanovic said after visiting a migrant center in Croatia’s east, close to the Serbian border. “They (Hungary) are considering closing border crossings. But how will they stop people? Shoot at them? Deploy the army?” Hungary’s hard-line Prime Minister Viktor Orban said last week he aimed to seal his country’s frontier with Croatia – crossed currently by more than 5,000 migrants daily — but that he wanted to talk to U.N. chief Ban Ki-moon and other leaders before doing so. The 52-year-old premier is currently in the United States, where he will address the U.N. General Assembly in New York on Wednesday. Almost 300,000 migrants have entered EU member Hungary so far this year, after traveling up from Greece through the western Balkans. For the vast majority of them, Hungary is merely a way station on the road to a new life in northern Europe, especially Germany. In mid-September, Hungary sealed its border with Serbia — previously the main crossing point into the EU — with razor wire, diverting the flow of people into Croatia.
Since then, nearly 85,000 migrants have entered Croatia, official figures released Tuesday showed. Overwhelmed by the influx, Croatia has been sending the new arrivals across to its border with Hungary further west, which then transports them towards Austria.
Criticizing Hungary’s approach, Milanovic said: “I don’t know if we speak the same language at all, if we think in the same way.”