EC President Juncker Calls Emergency Summit on Refugee Crisis

  • EU Commission head Juncker calls Sunday meeting in Brussels
  • Germany's Merkel to attend as meeting seeks `immediate' action

European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker called emergency talks on the refugee crisis for Sunday as countries in southeastern Europe struggle to handle tens of thousands of people seeking passage to the north.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel will join government leaders from Austria, Hungary, Greece, Bulgaria, Croatia, the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Romania, Serbia and Slovenia at the meeting in Brussels.

“In view of the unfolding emergency in the countries along the Western Balkans migratory route, there is a need for much greater cooperation, more extensive consultation and immediate operational action,” the Commission said in a statement Wednesday.

As the EU grapples with its biggest refugee crisis since World War II, leaders in southeastern Europe have clashed over border controls and migrant flows. Hungary’s government under Prime Minister Viktor Orban this week extended its border blockade to its frontier with Croatia, diverting the refugee flow to Slovenia. All three countries are EU members.

Slovenian Prime Minister Miro Cerar criticized Croatia’s government for failing to cooperate as some 13,000 migrants a day cross into his country, according to an interview with Die Welt newspaper Wednesday.

“Unfortunately the Croatian authorities aren’t reacting to our questions concerning information and cooperation in tackling the influx of refugees,” Cerar told Die Welt. “I would have expected something different from an EU member.”

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