Hungary attacks EU on migration; chaos in Budapest

Hungary attacks EU on migration; chaos in Budapest
Hungary railed Thursday at EU leaders, as chaos reigned in Budapest, where migrants dashed into the main train station after police stopped blocking its entrance.
4 min read
03 September, 2015

Hungary's leader railed Thursday at Germany and EU leaders for lacking urgency in dealing with Europe's migrant crisis as chaos reigned back home, where migrants by the hundreds dashed into Budapest's main train station. 

In a swirl of confusion, the migrants piled into trains at the Keleti station in the Hungarian capital despite announcements that there was no service to Western Europe. 

The train's departure from Budapest followed a two-day standoff with police barring entry to the station to more than 2,000 migrants. On Thursday the police stepped aside and the crowd surged past.

"We want to go to Germany but that train in the station, maybe it goes nowhere. We heard it may go to a camp. So we will stay out here and wait," said Ysra Mardini, a 17-year

     Scuffles between police and migrants then broke out at the Bicske station.

-old from the Syrian capital Damascus, dressed in jeans and a T-shirt. 

Police later peacefully cleared roughly 900 migrants from one train, many of whom sat down on the platforms to wait. Another train then left with migrants, stopping in the town of Bicske, 35 kilometers (22 miles) west of Budapest, where one of Hungary's refugee camps is located.

Scuffles between police and migrants then broke out at the Bicske station, as migrants refused to go to the camp. 

As the train departed, lawmakers were debating a raft of amendments to Hungary's migration laws that the ruling party said would cut illegal border crossings to "zero".

They provide for the creation of holding zones on the country's southern border with Serbia, where construction crews are completing a 3.5-metre-high fence.  

The question of how to defuse the human gridlock in Hungary was being hotly debated Thursday in Brussels at a meeting between EU leaders and Hungary's anti-immigrant prime minister, Viktor Orban. 

Hungary, which for months had done little to prevent applicants to head west after short bureaucratic delays, now says it won't let more migrants deeper into the European Union.   

"We Hungarians are full of fear. People in Europe are full of fear, because we see that European leaders, among them the prime ministers, are not capable of controlling the situation," Orban said.   

Orban blamed Germany and confirmed his government's plan to send up to 3,500 troops to Hungary's southern border with Serbia, stepping up efforts to stop as many migrants as possible from entering the country. His top aide said 160,000 migrants had reached Hungary this year, nearly 90,000 of them since July 6.  

The migrant "problem is not a European problem, the

     Thousands have died at sea and scores have perished on land.

problem is a German problem, nobody would like to stay in Hungary," Orban said. "All of them would like to go to Germany."     
On Wednesday, migrants had threatened to walk the 105 miles (170 kilometers) to the Austrian border if police would not let them board trains to their desired destinations in Austria and Germany.  

Trains to Vienna and beyond to Germany were cancelled, making it unclear what would be the next stop for the migrants - many of them refugees from wars in the Middle East. 

Thousands have died at sea and scores have perished on land in Europe's worst migration crisis since the Yugoslav wars of the 1990s. 

Aylan Kurdi

Images of Aylan Kurdi, the drowned three-year-old face down in the surf on Turkish beach, one of at least 12 who died there the previous day while trying to sail for a Greek island, appeared in newspapers across the continent, increasing public pressure on politicians to take action. 

"He had a name: Alyan Kurdi. Urgent action required - A Europe-wide mobilisation is urgent," French Prime Minister Manuel Valls said on Twitter. The images appeared days after 71 bodies were found in an abandoned truck in Austria last week.   

Relatives of three-year-old Aylan Kurdi, whose image drowned in a red T-shirt, blue shorts and tiny sneakers captivated the world, said the family were trying to reach Canada via Europe when they set off from the Turkish coast. 

His 5-year-old brother Galip and mother Rehan, 35, also died after their boat capsized while trying to reach the Greek island of Kos. His father, Abdullah, was found semi-conscious and taken to hospital.

Abdullah's sister Teema, a resident of Vancouver, said she heard the news from another of the boy's aunts: "She had got a call from Abdullah, and all he said was, my wife and two boys are dead," Teema Kurdi was quoted as saying in Canada's National Post newspaper.