EU threatens action against Hungary as refugee crisis intensifies

The European Union is threatening to take action against Hungary over its laws limiting the flow of migrants and refugees through its territory.

The laws, introduced on Sept. 21, make it a crime to cross Hungary’s border illegally or damage the country’s new anti-migration razor-wire fence.

The head of the European Commission's migration and protection wing, Laurent Muschel, told EU lawmakers Thursday that there are "a number of issues that we find problematic in their new legislation and said "we are ready to take any further steps if needed." He added the Commission would lay out its concerns in a letter to Hungary by the end of this week.

The EU's border agency says more than 155,000 people have crossed Hungary's borders this year.

Meantime, Czech Prime Minister Bohuslav Sobotka says his country is opposing any large European Union plan for a permanent redistribution of asylum-seekers among EU member states.

"We're in the middle of a battle over a realistic approach of the entire European Union to the migrant crisis. The Czech Republic will vote against such a proposal. No government would be able to change such a mechanism in the future,” Sobotka said during a Parliamentary on Thursday.

His statement comes in response to the EU ministers’ recent decision to redistribute 120,000 refugees throughout the EU despite opposition from the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Hungary and Romania.

Slovakia says it’s planning to challenge the policy, but Sobotka said Czechs would respect it.

EU ministers will discuss the larger plan for the permanent redistribution of the migrants at their Oct. 8 meeting in Luxembourg.

In Germany, the interior minister is urging migrants arriving in the country to respect others following recent brawls at crowded refugee accommodations.

Thomas de Maiziere introduced Thursday to Parliament a package of measures intended to streamline Germany's handling of the refugee influx. The country has been struggling to accommodate the newcomers, and de Maiziere acknowledged that some housing "isn't pleasant." But, he said: "there is no other way at the moment."

In Croatia, police say more than 90,000 migrants have passed through the country over the past two weeks on their way to Western Europe.

Croatia became a transit country for migrants in mid-September after Hungary closed its border with Serbia to stop the flow coming that way.

Refugees fleeing war-stricken countries in the Middle East, Africa and Asia want to reach the rich countries of Western Europe such as Germany and Sweden.

The migrant and refugee tide is not expected to slow amid fears of worsening weather conditions as winter approaches.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.