More than 10,000 refugees have flooded into Austria. The refugees had been sent from Croatia through Hungary, which then moved them on to Austria.
Hungary has now accused Croatia of breaking international law by refusing to register the refugees from war-torn countries including Syria and Iraq on its own soil. Croatia admitted yesterday (19 September) that it had forced Hungary to accept a number of refugees by busing them to the Hungarian border.
Peter Szijarto, foreign minister for Hungary, said that Croatia had "lied in the face" of the EU. "Instead of honestly making provision for the immigrants, it sent them straight to Hungary", he added.
Hungary has already faced fierce criticism over violent clashes with refugees involving tear gas and over the erection of a vicious razor-wire fence on its border with Serbia. Those waiting for safe passage into other EU countries face a gruelling wait, with some already spending their third night in Austria as they wait to be moved by bus or train. Some families have already been separated due to fully laden buses splitting their numbers.
The movement is the largest since the end of the Second World War and has raised questions regarding the validity of the Schengen agreement that allows cross-border travel by European citizens within 28 countries within the EU. Speculation is rife that the EU will introduce more stringent measures to cope with the numbers crossing EU borders making the refugees even more anxious and desperate to reach favoured countries such as Germany, which has said it will welcome as many refugees across its borders as possible.
The EU has now received nearly quarter of a million asylum requests in the three months until June with more expected. Almost half a million people have now attempted the perilous trip across the Mediterranean to reach Europe in order to gain asylum.
Meanwhile, more than 20 migrants are missing after their boat sank off the coast of Greece. Coastguards managed to rescue a total of 20 people from the boat but were told that it had originally been carrying 46, with 26 now presumed dead. A search is continuing for 13 people still missing after their boat was lost travelling across the Mediterranean killing, amongst others, a five year-old girl.