Migrant chaos at Budapest train station; Germany says EU rules still hold – Reuters
Hundreds of angry migrants demonstrated outside Budapest’s Eastern Railway Terminus on Tuesday demanding they be allowed to travel on to Germany, as the biggest ever influx of migrants into the European Union left its asylum policies in tatters.Around 1,000 people waved tickets, clapping, booing and shouting “Germany! Germany!” outside the station. Later they sat down, staring at a police blockade erected at the entrance.A refugee crisis rivaling the Balkan wars of the 1990s as Europe’s worst since World War Two has polarized and confounded the European Union, which has no mechanism to cope with the arrival of hundreds of thousands of poor and desperate people.Germany is likely to accept by far the largest share. In the case of those fleeing the Syrian civil war it has effectively suspended an EU rule that asylum seekers must apply in the first EU country they reach. But it insisted on Tuesday that the rule was nevertheless still in force and urged other EU countries to abide by it.The vast majority of refugees fleeing violence and other migrants escaping poverty arrive on Europe’s southern and eastern edges but are determined to press on and seek asylum in richer and more generous countries further north and west. That means illegally crossing a bloc that has no internal border controls to stop them.Hungary has emerged as one of the main flashpoints of the crisis as the primary gateway for migrants traveling over land through the Balkans and into the EU.Hungarian authorities shut the Budapest train station altogether on Tuesday, then reopened it but barred entry to migrants. About 100 police in helmets and wielding batons guarded the station. Dozens of migrants who were inside were forced out.Hungary’s decision to bar the migrants from westbound trains was a reversal from the previous day, when Hungary and Austria let trainloads of undocumented migrants leave for Germany, a violation of EU rules they now have little power to enforce.European laws, known as the “Dublin rules”, require asylum seekers to apply in the country where they first enter the EU and remain there until their applications are processed, even though the 26 members of the bloc’s Schengen zone maintain no border controls between them.The countries where most first reach the bloc – Italy, Greece and Hungary – say they have no capacity to process applications on such a scale.
Germany announced last month it …Read More