Astonishing Scenes as Thousands of Furious Refugees Abandon Budapest Station to Begin Walking 100 Miles to Austrian Border
Simon Tomlinson and Jenny Stanton, Daily Mail, September 4, 2015
Thousands of furious migrants who have been stuck in Budapest for days have started marching to Austria on foot, as Hungary introduces emergency anti-immigration laws including three year jail-terms for people climbing over the new razor wire border fence.
Carrying their belongings, the migrants set out from Keleti railway station after Hungarian authorities blocked them from boarding western-bound trains.
Today, the country’s parliament introduced the new laws, which will also result in new border ‘transit zones’ to hold asylum seekers while their applications are being processed.
The refugees snaked through the capital in a line stretching nearly half a mile as they began the journey–about 100 miles as the crow flies–to the Austrian border.
The refugees are trying to avoid registering in Hungary, which is economically depressed and more likely to return them to their home countries than many western European nations.
One man, 23-year-old Osama Morzar, from Aleppo, Syria, was so determined not to be registered in Hungary that he removed his fingerprints with acid, holding up smooth finger pads as proof.
‘The government of Hungary is very bad,’ said Mr Morzar. ‘The United Nations should help.’
Conditions are becoming more squalid at the station as 3,000 people remain camped out as they wait for a decision by Hungarian authorities on their fates. Some families pitched tents, with children playing nearby.
Meanwhile, a stand-off continued for a second day at the station in Bicske, a town north west of Budapest that holds one of the country’s five camps for asylum seekers.
Hundreds of people sat on a train there, some with tickets they had purchased to Berlin or Vienna. Although some eventually relented and registered at the asylum centre, most were determined not to.
‘The situation is so bad,’ said Adnan Shanan, a 35-year-old from Latakia, Syria. ‘We have so many sick people on the train. We have pregnant women, no food, no water.
‘We don’t need to stay here one more day. We need to move to Munich, to anywhere else, we can’t stay here. We can’t wait until tomorrow. We need a decision today, now.’
Furious at their treatment, they began chanting ‘Germany! Germany!’–their intended destination after a treacherous journey of hundreds miles.
Others brandished placards with the words ‘SOS’ and ‘Help!’ while another held by a child read: ‘I need to go to Germany for life.’ Police handed out water bottles but some migrants poured the drinks onto the ground in disgust. Children were handed cuddly toys.
And hundreds of migrants have escaped from two refugee camps in the country and made a dash for the border as chaos gripped the country.
In farcical scenes, dozens of families clambered over a fence at a processing reception near the town of Bicske just moments after they had been dropped off on buses by the Hungarian authorities.
Meanwhile, around 300 others broke out of a camp in Roszke, on the Serbia border, and ran for the motorway in their bid to reach Austria hundreds of miles away.
Officials said the refugees fled in two groups at around 9.30am GMT, adding that police have taken ‘the necessary steps’ to detain them.
Today, lawmakers in the country declared a ‘state of crisis caused by mass immigration’, which allows the police and army to assist in registering asylum-applications and operate detention facilities in registration camps.
‘If we do not protect our borders, tens of millions of migrants will keep coming to Europe,’ right-wing Prime Minister Viktor Orban said in a statement on Friday.
‘If we allow everyone in, that is the end of Europe. We may one morning wake up and realise that we are in the minority on our own continent.
Orban had earlier warned the influx of Muslim migrants was threatening ‘Christian roots’, describing the wave of refugees as ‘endless’ and warning that ‘many tens of millions’ more would come if the EU did not protect its borders.
In an opinion piece for Germany’s Frankfurt Allgemeine Zeitung, Orban wrote that his country was being ‘overrun’ with refugees, noting that most were Muslims, while ‘Europe and European culture have Christian roots’.
‘We must not forget that those who are coming in have been brought up under a different religion and represent a profoundly different culture,’ wrote the conservative Hungarian leader.
‘The majority are not Christians but Muslims. That is an important question because Europe and European culture have Christian roots.
‘Or is it not already, and in itself, alarming that Europe’s Christian culture is barely able to uphold Europe’s own Christian values?’
He later told a public radio station: ‘The reality is that Europe is threatened by a mass inflow of people, many tens of millions of people could come to Europe.
‘Now we talk about hundreds of thousands but next year we will talk about millions and there is no end to this,’ he said.
‘All of a sudden we will see that we are in minority in our own continent.’
The question of how to manage the crisis was hotly debated in Brussels at meetings between EU leaders and Hungary’s prime minister.
His chief of staff, Janos Lazar, said 160,000 migrants had reached Hungary this year, 90,000 of them in the past two months alone, representing around half of all asylum-seekers in Europe.
‘We Hungarians are full of fear,’ Mr Orban told a Brussels news conference, warning that the acceptance of so many Muslims from Syria, Iraq, Afghanistan and elsewhere would erode Europe’s Christian bedrock.
He confirmed his government’s plan to send at least 3,000 troops to Hungary’s southern border with Serbia, where police patrols, razor-wire coils and a 13ft fence are already in place to deter new arrivals from the non-EU member.
Mr Orban said Hungary’s dilemma was really ‘a German problem. Nobody would like to stay in Hungary. All of them would like to go to Germany.’