Croatia transfers 1,000 more migrants to Slovenia after Hungary closes border

cap: Migrants waiting to exit a train at a train station in Sredisce ob Dravi, Slovenia, on Oct 17, 2015.
cap: Migrants waiting to exit a train at a train station in Sredisce ob Dravi, Slovenia, on Oct 17, 2015.PHOTO: REUTERS

ZAGREB (AFP) - Hundreds of migrants travelled to Slovenia on Sunday (Oct 18) aboard a special train from Croatia, the day after some 3,000 were forced to take the same route after Hungary's new border closure.

The train crossed the border with around 1,000 migrants aboard at around 0800 GMT (4pm Singapore time), a Croatian Railways spokeswoman told AFP.

Meanwhile some 1,000 migrants arrived in Austria overnight after travelling on from Slovenia, Austrian police said, adding that most were expected to proceed on to Germany.

Hungary closed its frontier with Croatia to migrants early Saturday in a bid to block the path of streams of refugees fleeing war and poverty in the Middle East, Africa and Asia.

Budapest had sealed its border with non-EU neighbour Serbia a month earlier.

The number of migrants entering Hungary dropped to 870 on Saturday, down from 6,353 the previous day, following the border closure with Croatia.

Hungarian government spokesman Zoltan Kovacs said late Saturday it was "still too early to say, the measures which were introduced in the interests of defending the Hungarian as well as the European borders... clearly worked on the first day."

More than 6,000 migrants entered Croatia from Serbia on Saturday, an average figure since the influx started, official figures showed.

They were being transported by train and bus to four border crossings with Slovenia. Those who were not transferred were temporarily housed at a refugee centre in eastern Croatia.

Croatian Prime Minister Zoran Milanovic, who has repeatedly denounced Budapest's policy towards migrants, said Saturday that the government was "successfully keeping (the migrants situation) under control".

Since the influx began here in mid-September, nearly 200,000 migrants have transited through Croatia, crossing mostly to Hungary and a smaller number to Slovenia.

Ljubljana said Saturday that Slovenia would be able to cope with between 2,000 and 2,500 migrants per day as long as Austria and Germany did not strengthen their border controls. Croatia said it would respect Slovenia's constraints.