Interior Minister Ranko Ostojic said at the Opatovac reception centre, eastern Croatia on Monday that Croatia had no other choice but to send refugees and migrants arriving from Serbia on to Slovenia and the Schengen area, reiterating that the key to the refugee crisis was in Greece, which should be the first to control the influx of refugees and migrants fleeing war and poverty in the Middle East, Asia and Africa.

"If someone wants to decide that Croatia should be a wall, no problem, but such a decision should be made at the EU level. In that case we would admit that Greece is not fit to be a member of the Schengen area nor is it able to comply with EU rules," Ostojic told a press conference, adding that this had also been demanded by Prime Minister Zoran Milanovic.

"They should say that a wall will be built on the Croatian-Serbian border. But you can be sure that wire fences have never proved effective," he said.

Ostojic said that refugees and migrants were being transported to the border with Slovenia, dismissing claims that Croatia was not in control of the situation. "Last night's situation has been resolved. The people have been offered asylum," he said, adding that six buses that had been turned back at the Macelj border crossing with Slovenia had been redirected to the Lupinjak border crossing and as many buses that should have gone to Mursko Sredisce had been rerouted to Bukovje where they entered Slovenia.

Recalling that the Slovenians had refused to accept a train with 1,795 people in Cakovec, Ostojic said that of that number 500 people entered Slovenia at 10am.

He confirmed that a group of refugees and migrants had attempted to enter Croatia at Bajakovo on the border with Serbia, adding that they had been stopped and sent back to the border crossing at Bapska.

Asked to comment on the construction of a reception centre at Sid in Serbia, Ostojic said he had first heard news of a reception centre being built there "33 days ago".  "It's time it finally started operating so that people won't have to stand in the rain and can be received in an organised fashion."

Ostojic said that the winter transit centre in Slavonski Brod, 200 kilometres east of Zagreb, would start operating as soon as cabins for the accommodation of refugees and migrants were assembled. He added that the cabins would be delivered on Friday.

Latest news

Syrian opposition rules out future role for President al-Assad

The Syrian opposition said Friday it would not accept any role for President Bashar al-Assad in the future of the war-torn country, reacting to a recent US shift saying that removing al-Assad is no longer a priority for Washington.

Russian Army integrates breakaway forces of Georgian province

Parts of the small fighting forces of the Georgian breakaway province of South Ossetia have been placed under Russian military control, Russian Defence Minister Sergei Shoigu said on Friday.

Czech Republic's Pilsner Urquell beer is now Japanese

Japanese brewing company Asahi completed its takeover of the Czech brewery Pilsner Urquell on Friday, Asahi said in a statement.

Judge approves 25-million-dollar settlement of Trump University case

A US district judge on Friday approved a 25-million-dollar settlement of lawsuits and state fraud allegations against Trump University, the US president's now-defunct business venture.

Former Thai premier Thaksin to junta on reconciliation: 'Cut me out'

Former Thai prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra on Friday announced that he is not interested in the junta-led reconciliation process, three days after the junta handed him a half-a-billion-dollar tax bill for his past business deal.

Dalic: We welcome possible deal between Agrokor and banks

The government welcomes the possibility of an agreement being concluded between the Agrokor food company and creditor banks, and the bill on vitally important companies is not a fallback plan but the result of the government's care for the overall economic and financial stability of Croatia, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Economy Martina Dalic told a press conference in Zagreb on Friday.

Croatia, China sign action plan for cooperation in agriculture

The Croatian and Chinese ministries of agriculture on Friday signed an action plan for cooperation in the field of agriculture for the period 2017-2018, the Croatian ministry said in a statement.

ZSE indices up, Agrokor shares in focus of investor interest

The Zagreb Stock Exchange (ZSE) indices on Friday rose by more than 1.8%, with stocks of the Agrokor food and retail concern being in the focus of investor interest again.

Berlin police defend handling of Berlin market attacker

Berlin police defended themselves on Friday against accusations that they stopped surveillance on Berlin Christmas market attacker despite knowing in June 2016 he was dangerous.

Croatia, creditors tailor emergency measures to save tottering giant

Croatia's tottering retail and food giant Agrokor reached an agreement with its creditors, putting its debts standby and allowing it to continue working during emergency restructuring, the Croatian branch of Austria's Erste Bank said Friday.

Agrokor's creditors say standstill agreement to go into force today

A standstill agreement regarding the Agrokor concern's existing financial obligations to banks will take effect on Friday, additional capital will be injected into the concern in the coming days and the concern will be actively restructured, which includes a change of its management, it was said on Friday after a meeting between Agrokor's suppliers and creditor banks.

Palestinians, UN slam Israel's new settlement plan

Palestinians, Israeli activists and the UN lambasted the government of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Friday, a day after it gave the go-ahead for the first new West Bank settlement in a quarter of a century.

South Sudan rebels release three abducted foreign oil workers

South Sudanese rebels have released three foreign engineers they abducted in early March in the oil-rich Upper Nile region, Foreign Affairs Ministry official Mawein Makol Arik said on Friday.

Turkish opposition: Imprisoned party chief has gone on hunger strike

The head of Turkey's pro-Kurdish opposition party has launched a hunger strike from prison.

European leagues threaten Champions League schedule clashes

The European Professional Football Leagues (EPFL) on Friday threatened schedule clashes on Champions League matchdays in an ongoing dispute with the governing body UEFA.

Danish court revokes citizenship of IS volunteer

A Danish appellate court on Friday stripped a man of his Danish citizenship for volunteering to fight for the extremist Islamic State in Syria.

Banks and Agrokor agree on key elements of standstill agreement

Member banks of the coordinating committee of financial creditors and representatives of the Agrokor food company have in principle agreed on key elements of a standstill agreement, which is expected to be signed later today, announcing changes in the company's management team, Erste Bank said in a statement on Friday afternoon.

Syrian man on trial in Sweden; mosque attack labelled terrorism

A Syrian man went on trial Friday in the southern Swedish city of Malmo, charged with terrorism and arson after an attack last year on a building used as an assembly hall by Shiite Muslims.