ROSZKE, Hungary (AP) — A border clamps shut in Europe — and everything changes in just one day.
Declaring a state of emergency, Hungary sealed off its southern border with Serbia on Tuesday and detained those trying to enter illegally, aiming to shut down the flow of migrants pouring in. Chaos ensued at the border, as hundreds of migrants piled up in a no man's land, and Serbian officials reacted with outrage.
The entry point to the coveted European Union for tens of thousands of migrants slammed shut with police patrols, border fences, razor-wire and patrol dogs. Scores of migrants were detained by police and now face charges under a new law that makes crossing the border illegally a crime.
Those already across the border were giddy with relief. Those not yet in Hungary were riven with despair.
Upping the ante, Hungary announced later in the day it would start a fence on its border with fellow EU-member Romania — a move that Romania said violated the very spirit of EU unity.
It was a landmark day in the Eastern European nation whose historic border opening in 1989 heralded a new era of freedom for millions behind the Iron Curtain.