Croatia builds fence at Serbian border as migrants return

Croatia is building a fence along a part of its border with Serbia to stop migrants still trying to reach wealthy European countries, daily Vecernji List reported Thursday online.

The barrier is being erected along the Batina crossing, near where the borders of Croatia, Serbia and Hungary come together.

Police confirmed that a fence was going up, but refused to say whether it was because of migrants who continue filtering through the Balkans even as borders have been sealed to them since February.

Croatia began building the fence after Serbian authorities informed the country that around 700 migrants were crossing the so-called no-man's land, the small strip between the two countries' borders.

The migrants reportedly headed for Croatia after Hungary again tightened controls at its border with Serbia, which it fenced-off in September.

At the peak of the 2015-16 migration crisis, thousands of migrants, many of them refugees from Syria and other war zones in the Middle East, passed the so-called Balkan route each day.

Arriving from Turkey, through Greece and Macedonia, they initially continued toward Germany and other EU countries via Hungary and Austria.

Hungary stopped the migrants on its border with Serbia in September, diverting the flow to Croatia. Eventually, the migrants began going through Slovenia, also reaching Austria.

In February, all Balkan countries north of Greece stopped allowing migrants through.

True refugees have a chance of acquiring asylum in Greece, while economic migrants are stranded in the country, returned home or attempt to sneak north.

Aid organizations recently estimated that 200-600 migrants pass the Balkan route daily, mostly going through Hungary again.

Last update: Thu, 30/06/2016 - 12:46

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