Refugee crisis

Faymann to meet Orban over migrant crisis

Faymann to meet Orban over migrant crisis
Hungarian prime minister Viktor Orban. Photo: Photo: Barna Burger/Hungarian Govt
Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban will meet with his Austrian counterpart Werner Faymann in Vienna on Friday, his office said, amid tensions between the two over how to respond to Europe's migrant crisis.

Aside from Faymann, Orban will also meet Heinz-Christian Strache, head of far-right party FPO, for talks that will focus on “the European crisis situation caused by illegal immigration,” it said on its website on Thursday.

The visit comes after Orban and Faymann engaged in heated exchanges on the sidelines of a Brussels summit Wednesday, during which EU leaders agreed to boost aid for Syria's neighbours, as well as strengthen their borders to deal with the wave of migrants.

Hungary, which migrants and refugees use as a thoroughfare from the Balkans to northern Europe — with a record 10,046 migrants arriving Wednesday from Croatia — has taken the most hardline stance in Europe on the crisis.

It refuses to grant anyone asylum, and has sealed its border with Serbia with razor wire, prompting tens of thousands to divert their route through Croatia, from where they are bussed to the Hungarian frontier.

Budapest announced Thursday it was now considering closing its frontier with Croatia.

The move has triggered repeated criticism from Austria, which has been on the receiving end of the vast majority of migrants transiting through Hungary.

Austrian authorities said Thursday that 8,100 had entered from Hungary in the previous 36 hours.

Meanwhile, Reuters has reported that after Serbia banned Croatian cargo traffic from crossing its border, Croatia has in a tit-for-tat move blocked Serbian citizens and vehicles.

“Serbian passport holders and cars registered in Serbia cannot enter Croatia until further notice,” a police officer said by telephone from Bajakovo, the main crossing point between the two ex-Yugoslav republics, according to Reuters.