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Balkans struggles with growing backlog of migrants

Monday, October 19, 2015 - 01:34

Thousands of migrants find themselves stranded along the Serbian-Croatian waiting to cross into Slovenia. Rough Cut (no reporter narration).

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ROUGH CUT (NO REPORTER NARRATION) The Balkans faced a growing backlog of migrants on Monday, thousands building up on cold, wet borders after the closure of Hungary's southern frontier diverted them to Slovenia. In desperate scenes, several thousand people, many of them Syrians fleeing war, spent the night on the muddy ground of no-man's land between Serbia and European Union-member Croatia. "Open the gate, open the gate!" they chanted, held back by lines of Croatian police. In Croatia, about 1,800 people were halted on a train short of the Slovenian border, where Slovenian police barred access with an improvised fence. They disembarked and walked along the tracks, wrapped in raincoats or plastic sheeting against the rain. Around 150, mainly families with children, were allowed to cross the frontier, the rest spent the night in the open, warming themselves around open fires. After Hungary closed its border with Croatia to migrants on Friday, the unrelenting flow -- en-route to Austria and Germany, the favoured destination -- has been diverted to Slovenia. But Slovenia, a country of two million people, has imposed a daily limit of around 2,500, saying it will only take in as many as can exit into Austria, forcing Croatia too to ration entry from Serbia with its own refugee camps full to capacity. Upwards of 5,000 people are flowing across Balkan borders daily, from Greece into Macedonia and Serbia, both poor former Yugoslav republics with barely the capacity to cope.

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Balkans struggles with growing backlog of migrants

Monday, October 19, 2015 - 01:34