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Croatia, Serbia Close Border In Row Over Migrants

A group of migrants run to board a train as heavy rain starts to fall in Barcs, Hungary, on Thursday.
Petr David Josek
/
AP
A group of migrants run to board a train as heavy rain starts to fall in Barcs, Hungary, on Thursday.

Croatia has locked down its border with Serbia in an effort to stem the flow of thousands of refugees across the border.

Joanna Kakissis, reporting from the border region, says Serbia has closed its border to Croatians in retaliation. "Trucks are backed up for 8 miles on the highway to the border crossing at Batrovci [Serbia]," she says.

Hungary's Prime Minister Viktor Orban on Thursday called the European Union's quota system for member nations to share the burden of resettling migrants "seriously flawed."

But the right-wing premier is not the only one objecting to the new system. Reuters reports that the Czech Republic, Romania and Slovakia are also opposed to the plan approved on Tuesday by a majority vote of EU ministers.

Meanwhile, German Chancellor Angela Merkel called the new EU measures only "a first step" toward resolving the crisis and said that "selective relocation" of migrants was not enough.

"I am deeply convinced that what Europe needs is not just selective relocation [of migrants], but a permanent process for fairly distributing refugees among member states," Merkel said. "A first step has been taken, but we are still far from where we should be."

As The Two-Way's Eyder Peralta reported earlier this week, the EU agreed to relocate 120,000 refugees coming from war zones in Syria and Iraq and as far away as Afghanistan and Bangladesh.

Copyright 2021 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

Scott Neuman is a reporter and editor, working mainly on breaking news for NPR's digital and radio platforms.

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