Serbian PM urges EU to react towards Hungary

Serbian Prime Minister Aleksandar Vucic urges EU to react against Hungary criticising its policy towards refugees as European leaders have different perspectives on growing crisis

Photo by: Reuters
Photo by: Reuters

Hungarian policemen stand by the family of refugees as they wanted to run away at the railway station in the town of Bicske, Hungary

Serbian Prime Minister Aleksandar Vucic called on the European Union on Wednesday for rapid action against neighbouring Hungary’s  "brutal" and "non-European" behaviour towards refugees on their joint border.

During his visit to the US, Vucic told Serbian state television that "We will not allow anyone to humiliate us. I call on the European Union to react, for its members to behave in line with European values.”

"If the EU does not react, we will find a way to protect our borders and European values as well," he added.

Tensions rose at the Hungarian border with Serbia earlier on Wednesday following the thousands of refugees who crossed Serbia to reach Hungary blocked from entering the country by a razor-wire fence.

Refugees were determined to pass the border and gave the Hungarian authorities two hours to open the gate before they would attempt to break through.

Following the declaration from the refugees, Hungarian riot police used tear gas and water cannon against them.

Refugees from the war-torn Syria choose Balkan countries, Greece or Austria as a main route to reach Schengen zone.

Hungarian government spokesman Zoltan Kovacs defended the country’s approach against the refugees saying that Hungarian forces had to respond the young refugees who tried to enter country with sticks and stones.

"... An armed mob of a couple of hundreds of people are trying to enter Hungarian territory without any kind of permit," Kovacs told CNN.

"These are young males, armed with sticks and stones who tor(e) away the gate ... during the night, and they are ... trying to break through," he added.  

Kovacs also pointed that Hungarian authorities were facing "violence on behalf of the mob, an armed mob, who are using kids as human shields."

He also underlined that "proportionate police force is being used."   

Hungary did not content with only committing violence against the refugees but also detained 29 of them following the clashes.

Gyorgy Bakondi, a security adviser to Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban told state television M1 that 20 police officers were injured in the violence due to young refugees threw rocks to the police forces.

Alongside giving the number of the arrested refugees Bakondi added that "police also captured an identified terrorist."

As the European countries have been keeping to criticise Hungarian behaviour against refugees, German Defense Minister Ursula von der Leyen said that Hungary's treatment of refugees is "not acceptable," adding that it was "against ... European rules”

Remanding the refugees are human, she stated they deserved to be treated decently.

Following the closure of the border hundreds of refugees turned their face to Croatia.

Croatian authorities welcomed the refugees in their country, showing a totally different reaction from Hungary.  

Croatian police carried 373 foreign nationals, including 75 women and 73 children to a registration centre outside Zagreb, where they got treatment and assistance.

According to the witnesses, a Croatian police called warmly out migrants saying that "Come on guys, don't be scared," before they climbed into a police van.

Croatian Prime Minister Zoran Milanovic complained about the Hungarian policy towards the refugees tweeting that "I believe the policy in Budapest of raising walls is dangerous and cruel."

Croatian Interior Minister Ranko Ostojic also promised to "treat the refugees humanely," on his Twitter account as Milanovic tweeted his country was "ready to accept people."

As European countries continued to raise their voice against  the refugee crisis in Hungarian-Serbian border, Slovenian Prime Minister Miro Cerar tweeted on his account that his country will temporarily establish controls on its frontier with Hungary  "until a common European solution is found.”

Another statement about the ongoing crisis came from Slovakia’s leftist Prime Minister Robert Fico on Wednesday.

Fico pointed in Slovakian parliament that the EU is no longer a safe place due to the recent refugee influx into the continent.

"The EU has found itself under the onslaught of hundreds of thousands of migrants and has ceased to be a safe place," adding that "90 percent of these people are economic migrants."

Poland's main opposition party Law and Justice (PiS) was also among the parties which approached the growing refugee issue negatively.

The party draw attention that accepting refugees could damage daily life and create security gap in the country.   

"There exists a serious risk that the following process is started," Kaczynski said. "First the number of foreigners drastically increases, then they ... declare that they will not observe the law, our customs."

"If somebody says it is untrue, then let him take a look around Europe, let him look at Sweden," he added.

"We should help, but in a safe way, financially."

TRTWorld and agencies