Hungary, Romania Trade Barbs Over Border Fence

The latest developments as European governments rush to cope with the huge number of people moving across Europe.

Published: 20th September 2015 03:06 PM  |   Last Updated: 20th September 2015 03:06 PM   |  A+A-

Hungary Migrants_Border

Hungarian soldiers set up razor wire, the first line of a temporary fence under construction on Hungary's southern border. |AP

By AP

ATHENS, Greece: The latest developments as European governments rush to cope with the huge number of people moving across Europe. All times local:

9:20 a.m.

After lashing out against Croatian officials, Hungarian Foreign Minister Peter Szijjarto is now trading barbs with his Romanian counterpart over a razor-wire border fence that Hungary is building between the two countries to keep out migrants.

Hungary's erection of fences is deeply straining its ties with neighboring countries, who feel the problem of the huge flow of migrants is being unfairly pushed onto them. After completing a fence along the border with Serbia, Hungary is now building fences along its borders with Croatia and Romania.

Romanian Foreign Minister Bogdan Aurescu on Saturday called the border closure an "autistic and unacceptable act" that violated the spirit of the European Union.

On Sunday, Szijjarto said, "We would expect more modesty from a foreign minister whose prime minister is currently facing trial." That was a reference to corruption charges filed recently against Romanian Prime Minister Victor Ponta.

Szijjarto added: "We are a state that is more than 1,000 years old that throughout its history has had to defend not only itself, but Europe as well many times. That's the way it's going to be now, whether the Romanian foreign minister likes it or not."

The Hungarian Foreign Ministry has called in the Romanian ambassador for a consultation on Monday.

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8:45 a.m.

A boat with 46 migrants or refugees has sunk in Greece and the coast guard says it is searching for 26 missing off the eastern Aegean island of Lesbos.

The coast guard says a Lithuanian helicopter from the European border patrol agency Frontex spotted people in the sea off the southeastern coast of Lesbos early Sunday.

Two coast guard vessels headed to the area and have rescued 20 people. The survivors say there were a total of 46 people on board.

No information is immediately available on their nationalities.

Hundreds of thousands of asylum seekers, mostly Syrians and Afghans fleeing conflict at home, have arrived in Greece from the nearby Turkish coast so far this year.

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