The Latest: Slovenia authorities say 4 trains carrying 2,000 migrants toward Austria
Migrants continue their move forward after crossing from Croatia, in Rigonce, near a border crossing between Croatia and Slovenia Thursday, Oct. 22, 2015. After too many days and nights stuck outside in the rain and cold, tempers are fraying among the tens of thousands of migrants trying to get through the Balkans to the heart of Europe
Associated Press Oct. 22, 2015 | 1:24 p.m. EDT
DOBOVA, Slovenia (AP) — The latest news as asylum-seekers make their way across Europe by the tens of thousands, fleeing war or seeking a better life. All times local:
Authorities in Slovenia say around 2,000 migrants from a refugee camp at the Croatian border are traveling in four trains toward Austria.
The state railway company Slovenske Zeleznice said Thursday three trains were headed toward the Sentilj border crossing in the northeast while the last one is going to Jesenice, in the northwest, for the first time since migrants took a turn toward Slovenia on Saturday.
So far, all migrants have crossed into Austria at the Sentilj crossing, which has been overloaded, leading to tensions among thousands anxious to move on after weeks of traveling through many countries.
Most migrants fleeing war and poverty in the Middle East, Asia and Africa wish to go to Germany or other wealthier countries of Western Europe.
Slovenia says several EU nations have offered to help to the tiny Alpine nation as it struggles to cope with the influx of thousands of migrants crossing its territory in hopes of reaching Western Europe.
European Commissioner for Migration Dimitris Avramopoulos said Thursday in the capital, Ljubljana, that Slovenia also can count on EU's financial aid, but didn't specify the amount.
Slovenia Interior Minister Vesna Gyorkos Znidar said Austria, Germany, Italy, as well as the so-called Visegrad Group — the Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland and Slovakia — have offered help, including staff.
Earlier on Thursday, Slovenia sent a formal request for EU aid to the European Commission. The country has said its capacities are stretched to the limit with around 38,000 migrants entering since Saturday.
Hungary's prime minister says if the European Union is incapable of stopping the waves of people arriving at its "eastern gate" of Greece, they must be stopped at its "western gate" of Hungary and Slovenia.
Speaking Thursday at a meeting of the European People's Party in Madrid, Prime Minister Viktor Orban described those escaping poverty and war in the Middle East, Asia and Africa as a "people's migration made up of economic immigrants, refugees and armed foreigners."
Orban is adamantly opposed to taking in the migrants.
Orban said there was a "moral responsibility to give these people back their homes and countries. But it can't be our goal to provide a new European life for them."
Slovenia has formally requested European Union aid in managing the influx of thousands of migrants crossing through on their way toward wealthy countries in Western Europe.
Interior Ministry official Bostjan Sefic said Thursday the request has been sent to the European Commission. He spoke hours ahead of a visit by European Commissioner for Migration Dimitris Avramopoulos.
Officials say more than 5,000 people arrived in Slovenia by noon on Thursday alone and more than 38,000 have come since Saturday, when Hungary closed its border with Croatia.
The tiny European nation of 2 million says it has been overwhelmed by the migrant influx and has called on the army to help police with border duties.
Officials from Hungary and Serbia have reopened a border checkpoint where Hungarian police had earlier used tear gas, pepper spray and water cannons against hundreds of refugees trying to enter the country.
Hungarian Interior Minister Sandor Pinter said Thursday the reopening of the smaller of two crossings at Roszke in Hungary (Horgos in Serbia) meant all official checkpoints between the two countries were back in operation.
Dozens of police and migrants were injured in the clashes on Sept. 16, a day after Hungary closed its border with Serbia to the free flow of refugees. On Saturday, Hungary also closed its border with Croatia, forcing migrants to detour toward Slovenia in their efforts to reach Germany and other EU destinations.