16:48 GMT +323 October 2019
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    Migrants and refugees wait in the rain as they wait to enter Slovenia, at the Croatian-Slovenian border in Trnovec, on October 19, 2015.

    Refugees Forced to Reroute While Hungary Reinforces Border Blocks

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    Refugees are being forced to reroute through one of Europe's smallest countries, Slovenia, after Hungary sealed off its border with Croatia.

    Hungarian Prime Minister, Viktor Orban has continued his razor wire approach to refugees by blocking off the country's southern border with Croatia.

    Local media reported that Hungarian police and the army, some dressed in full battle gear, installed the barbed wire fence across the unofficial border crossing at Botovo, after which they closed it completely. 

    Slovenia says it will allow as many refugees in as it is able to register, and has put its army on standby. It says it will only allow 2,500 migrants to cross into the country each day, after refugees on route to Northern Europe had to be directed. 

    The closure of the Croatian border with Hungary is the latest symbol of the country's refusal to act alongside its European Union partners and to sign up to the European Commission's resettlement program. Hungary's decision to close its borders also flouts the EU's passport-free travel system within the Schengen zone. Hungary and Slovenia are part of the Schengen area, while Croatia isn't.

    Migrants burn shoes in a bonfire to warm themselves up as they wait at the border with Slovenia in Trnovec, Croatia, October 19, 2015.
    © REUTERS / Antonio Bronic
    Migrants burn shoes in a bonfire to warm themselves up as they wait at the border with Slovenia in Trnovec, Croatia, October 19, 2015.

    In a statement, the German government said: "Measures introduced by the Hungarian government do not resolve the issue of safe migration of refugees.

    "There is no need for something like this. The closure of the borders destroys our attempts to establish solidarity within the EU."

    The EU has agreed to resettle 120,000 asylum seekers among EU member states. But Hungary, alongside some other Eastern European countries, is trying to take legal action to avoid participating in the quota system.

    Asylum seekers and refugees, physically prevented from entering these countries are, therefore, forced to search of alternatives routes — Slovenia being one of them. 

    A large-scale refugee resettlement scheme proposed by Brussels for early next year is set to be met with further opposition as countries continue to flout EU rules, eroding future EU solidarity.


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