Hungary Slams Croatia After Train Passage

Hungary Slams Croatia After Train PassageHungary Slams Croatia After Train Passage

Budapest has finished work on a 41-km border fence amid a spat with its neighbor, Croatia, which Hungary accused of violating its sovereignty after Croatia let a train carrying a thousand asylum seekers into the country.

Croatia’s claim that the train, which transferred thousands of migrants and refugees to the Hungarian border followed a bilateral agreement, was condemned as a “lie in the face” of Hungary and the EU, Hungary’s Foreign Minister Peter Szijjarto said on Saturday.

“Instead of honestly making provision for the immigrants, it sent them straight to Hungary. What kind of European solidarity is this?” Szijjarto questioned at a press conference, RT reported.

“Once again, Hungary has been left in the lurch. We will defend the European Union, the borders of the Schengen zone, and we will defend Hungary in accordance with European rules.”

His resentment of the “violation of Hungary’s sovereignty” followed a Saturday statement by Croatia’s Prime Minister Zoran Milanovic, who called Hungarian border policy “incomprehensible”, referring to the fact that most migrants chose the country as a gateway to the EU and were marching further on.

Only the “crazy idea” of army deployment could seal the border, “and even if that were possible under the constitution–and it is not–it means killing people,” Milanovic said, adding that the current situation is “a humanitarian crisis but not a disaster”.

However, he admitted that Zagreb “forced” Hungary to take in a trainload of people the day before simply “by sending the migrants there”, without any agreement at the highest level.

Early Saturday morning, Hungary completed the construction of the border fence, which will separate the country from Croatia with barbed wire, reinforcing the natural barrier of the Drava River.

  26 Missing in Greek

Twenty-six migrants were feared missing early on Sunday after a dinghy carrying them sank off the Greek island of Lesbos, the coastguard said.

Their nationalities were not immediately known. A search and rescue operation was underway and 20 other people were pulled from the water, a coastguard spokeswoman said.

“They (the migrants) told rescuers there were 46 people in the inflatable dinghy in total,” she said.

Rescues and sinkings have become almost daily occurrences in the often choppy seas off Greece’s eastern islands.

Hundreds of thousands of mainly Syrian refugees have braved the short crossing from Turkey this year, mainly in flimsy and overcrowded inflatable boats.

A girl believed to be five years died on Saturday and 13 others were feared lost overboard after their boat sank off the island of Lesbos, a favored entry point on a route that takes the migrants through the Balkans toward northern Europe.

Fifteen babies and children were among 34 who died a week ago when their boat capsized off the small island of Farmakonisi.

  Canada Accelerates Applications

Canada’s conservative government is to speed up the processing of applications from Syrian and Iraqi asylum seekers. The move comes after opposition party criticism ahead of elections next month.

The conservative government said on Saturday it will designate people who have fled from Syria and Iraq as “prima facie” refugees, rather than wait for the United Nations agency for refugees to formally process them.

“Today, by designating them differently, we are greatly expanding the potential for candidates and sponsorship with the private partners across Canada,” Minister of Citizenship and Immigration Chris Alexander said on Saturday during a press conference.

Groups of five and families are to be allowed to sponsor asylum seekers who have not yet received convention refugee status. Alexander said, “These measures will ensure that thousands of Syrian and Iraqi refugees will have reached Canada by the end of 2015.”