Hungarian police force migrants off train
Radio New Zealand International
September 3, 2015 6:32 pm
Hungary has started taking asylum-seekers to a transit camp about 40 kilometres outside Budapest after stopping the train they were on.
The city’s eastern railway station was opened yesterday, after a two-day stand-off, to hundreds of refugees who had been camped outside it in the hope of catching a train to Germany and Austria.
But the first train to depart, packed with refugees, did not head for Western Europe. It was stopped at the town of Bicske, where riot police forced the passengers out so they could be taken to a processing centre.
Scuffles broke out after police tried to force people off the train and police ordered journalists from the scene, declaring Bicske an operation zone.
Earlier, the Hungarian Prime Minister, Viktor Orban, told European officials in Brussels that he would take a hard line from 15 September to require all refugees to register in his country before they can be considered for travel to the West.
He said Hungarians fear that European leaders cannot control the migrant flows.
Orban also said the situation was a German problem as Germany was where those arriving in the EU “would like to go”.
Germany is willing to bend European Union rules and take Syrian refugees without visas.
Speaking at the same conference as Mr Orban, the European Council President Donald Tusk said at least 100,000 refugees should be distributed across EU states.
He said EU countries should sharply increase their offers to share out asylum seekers and they should also set up refugee reception centres close to war zones outside Europe.
Tusk says EU leaders should be ready at a summit next month to commit much more money to the crisis.
EU countries have so far committed to share about 32,000 asylum seekers from Italy and Greece, a number short of a European Commission proposal of 40,000.
A new proposal from the EU executive is expected next week.