Migrants refuse to leave Hungarian train

September 04, 2015 08:19
This image of washed-up body of three-year-old Alan Kurdi, who died alongside his mother and five-year-old brother, circulated widely on social media. Photo: Internet

Scuffles have broken out as police forced migrants from a train in Hungary as Europe struggled with a worsening humanitarian crisis.

In Brussels, Hungary's Prime Minister Viktor Orban described the situation as a "German problem" as Germany was where those arriving in the EU "would like to go", BBC News reported.

But European Council President Donald Tusk said at least 100,000 refugees should be distributed across EU states.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel and French President Francois Hollande said they will present joint proposals for the redistribution of refugees within the EU.

Earlier on Thursday, police let migrants into the railway station following a two-day stand-off.

Migrants who had been camped outside Budapest's Keleti railway station surged on to the platforms as soon as police withdrew.

International services were suspended at Budapest's station but hundreds crammed on to the first train hoping it would take them to the Austrian border.

Instead, the train stopped at the Hungarian town of Bicske about 40 kimoters (25 miles) west of Budapest which hosts a major refugee camp, and police lined the platforms.

Some migrants at first left the train but then forced their way back on when they realized where the authorities wanted them to go. Some clung to railway tracks. 

They fear that registering at the camp will make it harder for them to seek asylum in Germany and other countries, the BBC said.

The human cost of the crisis was put into sharp focus on Wednesday when five children were among 12 migrants who drowned in Turkish waters while trying to reach Greece.

Images of the washed-up body of three-year-old Alan Kurdi, who died alongside his mother and five-year-old brother, circulated widely on social media.

According to Reuters, hundreds of thousands of refugees from wars in the Middle East, along with economic migrants fleeing poverty in Africa and Asia, have braved the Mediterranean Sea and land routes across the Balkans to reach the European Union. Thousands have died at sea and scores have perished on land.

Nearly all first reach the EU's southern and eastern edges before pressing on for richer and more generous countries further north and west, above all Germany, which has emphasized its moral duty to accept those fleeing genuine peril.

Hollande said he had agreed with Merkel on "a permanent and obligatory mechanism" to allocate refugees across the bloc.

"I believe that today what exists is no longer enough," Reuters quoted him as saying. "So we will need to go further."

Merkel said Germany was prepared to accept more refugees per capita than its neighbors, but others must do their part with "quotas and rules that are fair and take into account what is possible in each country".

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Migrants protest at a railway station in Bicske, Hungary, as they scuffle with police trying to take them to a refugee camp on Thursday. Photo: Reuters