Hungarian authorities on Wednesday used tear gas, pepper spray and water cannons against refugees along its border with Serbia and announced that the border would be closed for 30 days, according to the Associated Press. Refugees in the latest cross-border dispute in Europe managed to break through the border at the village of Horgos as shouts of “Shame on you, Hungarians!” were heard.
Hungarian authorities said the border would be "temporarily, partially closed" because the situation was posing a security risk for Hungary. Serbian minister Aleksandar Vulin during a TV broadcast criticized the action taken by Hungarian authorities. “Hungary must show it is ready and capable to accept these people,” he said.
Serbia provided medical treatment for refugees hurt by the Hungarian authorities and invited refugees to return to the Serbian town of Kanjiza for additional treatment and aid. In an example of the injuries sustained during the episode, the AP reported seeing a man with a bloody leg and a woman holding a baby fainting.
— Mircea Barbu (@mirceabarbu) September 16, 2015
Refugees responded to the hostilities by throwing stones and bottles at Hungarian authorities, according to the BBC. While the situation has eased, it remained unclear how the Hungarian and Serbian governments would proceed.
Hungary rejected proposals for an EU quota system for resettlement and closed its border with Serbia Tuesday. The Hungarian government, which passed laws making it illegal to cross into the country or to damage the razor-wire fence constructed along its border with Serbia, started arresting refugees Tuesday.
— euronews (@euronews) September 16, 2015
The Hungarian government would consider building a fence along its border with Romania if refugees decide to reroute their journeys, Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban said Tuesday. However, Hungary’s proposal to build a fence between the two EU member states was “not in accordance with the European spirit,” Romania’s foreign ministry said, according to the Economist.
Refugees from war-torn and repressive states, including Syria, Iraq, Afghanistan and Eritrea, have continued to attempt to cross European borders heading to western and northern European countries. Leaders of the 28-member EU have not been able to come to a consensus on how to deal with the crisis and resettle refugees. They were scheduled to meet again next week to discuss possible solutions.