LJUBLJANA – Bus loads of migrants began arriving in Slovenia from Croatia for the first time Saturday. The migrants, who are hoping for a more stable life in northern Europe, were diverted to Slovenia on their route to the north after Hungary sealed off its border with Croatia at midnight Friday.
Hungary shut down the border in an effort to contain the flow of thousands of migrants arriving daily in the country before traveling north.
A final group of several hundred migrants was allowed to cross the border shortly before it was sealed. A fence along the frontier has already been built to prevent unauthorized crossings.
Hungarian Foreign Minister Peter Szijjarto announced the decision to seal the border after a meeting of the national security Cabinet Friday.
He said Budapest had informed its border countries and beyond about its decision. Hungary sealed the border with Serbia in September.
In response to the Hungarian move, Slovenia announced Friday it is suspending all train services to Croatia.
Slovenia said it would continue to accept the migrants, but wants to control the influx. Instead of transporting the new arrivals to its borders, trains and buses will deliver them to refugee centers.
More than 380,000 migrants have entered Hungary this year and authorities there anticipate the number to exceed 700,000 by the end of the year.
Meanwhile, European Union leaders meeting at a summit in Brussels have approved an “action plan” with Turkey, in hopes of easing the flow of migrants to Europe.