Migrants flooding into Croatia will be “moved on”, PM Zoran Milanovic has warned, adding that his country cannot become a “migrant hotspot”.
He said the country’s borders would not be shut completely, but it had reached its limit.
His remarks came as Croatia closed seven of eight road crossings after a huge influx of migrants seeking onward passage towards northern Europe.
More than 14,000 have entered Croatia, with tensions high and many exhausted.
Huge numbers heading north through the Balkans have triggered an EU crisis.
Many are fleeing conflicts in Syria, Iraq and Afghanistan.
Mr Milanovic said Croatia would now begin helping migrants move on, adding that it would be easier to send them to Hungary than Slovenia.
“We have a heart, but we also have a brain,” he said. “These are too many people. We can’t cope.
“They will get food, water and medical help, and then they can move on. The European Union must know that Croatia will not become a migrant hotspot.”