Hungary Bows to Defiant Migrants, Promising Buses to the Border – New York Times
Video Footage showed migrants — frustrated with the Hungarian authorities, who have blocked their way by rail — starting the walk from Budapest toward Germany. Others remained in a standoff with the police.
By PALKO KARASZ, ANEMONA HARTOCOLLIS and DAN BILEFSKY
September 4, 2015
BUDAPEST — After a day of defiance by increasingly desperate refugees, the government of Hungary metaphorically threw up its hands Friday and offered to bus thousands of migrants to the Austrian border, sending the crisis spinning closer to the heart of the Continent.
An aide to Prime Minister Viktor Orban said in a statement that the buses would transport the thousands still thronging the Keleti railroad station in Budapest and the approximately 1,200 people who stormed out of the train station earlier on Friday and set off on foot toward the Austrian border.
“This does not automatically mean that they can leave the country,” the official, Janos Lazar, said. “We are waiting for the Austrian government’s response.” He added that the govermnment was doing this to avoid blockage of the nation’s transit system.
It was not clear what the government planned for the thousands already being held in reception centers around the country, nor what the Austrian government would do when confronted with thousands of refugees at its borders. On Thursday the Hungarian government made a similar offer of a train ride to the west, but then tried to force the migrants off the train and bus them to a refugee camp outside Budapest.
Interactive Feature | Traveling in Europe’s River of Migrants Thousands of migrants and refugees are desperately pushing their way into Europe. A team of New York Times journalists is documenting the journey.
But there was little doubt that after days of trying, halfheartedly, perhaps, to comply with European Union regulations and registering the refugees, Hungary was ready to follow Greece and Macedonia and pass the burden of the refugees on to the next country to the west, in this case Austria.
The refugees themselves are only too happy to comply, having set their sights on Germany and having scant interest in remaining in a relatively poor country like Hungary. That much was evident earlier in the day, when more than a thousand abandoned Keleti station and embarked on a 300-mile walk, rather than spend another night in a country where they …Read More