The sharp increase came ahead of harsh new Hungarian laws coming into force tomorrow under which people entering the EU country illegally can be jailed.
Hungarian news website Index.hu reported that its neighbour Serbia would try to push through as many as 25-30,000 migrants today before the new Hungarian laws bite.
Index quoted Hungarian official sources as saying Serbia would speed up the provision of buses for the migrants, who enter Serbia from Macedonia after leaving Greece.
Once in Hungary, most migrants seek to travel onto western Europe, particularly to Germany and Sweden, via Austria.
But with tens of thousands crossing its frontiers, German authorities yesterday decided to reinstate border controls, and all trains between Austria and Germany were temporarily suspended, leaving thousands effectively stranded in Austria.
In addition to the new laws, Hungary is also building a controversial four-metre high fence all along its 175-kilometre border with Serbia.
The dramatic reinstatement of border checks signalled a U-turn on Chancellor Angela Merkel’s earlier decision to throw open the country’s borders to Syrian refugees.
“The German decision of today underlines the urgency to agree on the measures proposed by the European Commission in order to manage the refugee crisis,” the EU said yesterday.
A plan to distribute 160,000 refugees to relieve pressure on frontline states such as Italy, Greece and Hungary, faces strong resistance from countries including the Czech Republic, Slovakia and Romania. — AFP