Budapest, Hungary – The number of refugees arriving in Greece and travelling towards the western countries of the European Union through Macedonia, Serbia, and Hungary has increased dramatically in the second half of August and these countries have all had trouble dealing with the surge.
The International Organization for Migration (IOM) has reported that more than 350,000 people, many from war-torn Syria, have made the perilous crossing of the Mediterranean so far this year.
On September 1, only days after the German government had announced that they are ready to accept all Syrian asylum seekers, regardless of which EU country they had entered first, Hungary decided to close Budapest’s Keleti train station where several thousand refugees were waiting to board trains towards Austria and then Germany.
In response, refugees began protesting against the conditions at the station and demanding to be allowed to leave Hungary. They expressed their anger at having paid a considerable amount of money for the train tickets only to be prevented from boarding the trains.
The train station remained closed until the late morning on Thursday, September 3, when the Hungarian police finally allowed the refugees to board trains.