CONTROVERSIAL TOPICS

CONTROVERSIAL TOPICS

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Hungary has blocked the main crossing point from Serbia used by migrants as Austria, Slovakia and the Netherlands all followed Germany's lead to impose border controls

 

 

 

Slovakia and the Netherlands all followed Germany's lead to impose border controls

 

 

Europe shuts up shop: Hungary blocks main crossing point from Serbia used by migrants as Austria, Slovakia and Netherlands ALL follow Germany's lead to impose border controls

  • A record 5,809 migrants entered Hungary in a new surge on Sunday, smashing the previous day's record of 4,330
  • Increase came ahead of laws coming into force tomorrow under which those entering Hungary illegally can be jailed
  • Reports that Serbia will 'push through' as many as 30,000 migrants on Monday before tough new laws are rolled out
  • Germany's Vice Chancellor Sigmar Gabriel said today that the country may take in up to a million refugees this year

Hungary has blocked the main crossing point from Serbia used by migrants as Austria, Slovakia and the Netherlands all followed Germany's lead to impose border controls this afternoon.

Police were seen closing off a gap in the razor-wire barrier along the Hungary-Serbia border as other officers former a human shield to block off the railway tracks.

The move comes after it emerged that Hungary was bracing itself for a massive surge of up to 30,000 migrants in just one day as Serbia attempts a huge 'push through' before its neighbour introduces tough new border rules.

A record 5,809 migrants entered Hungary in a new surge on Sunday, smashing the previous day's record of 4,330, Hungarian police have revealed.

The sharp increase came ahead of laws coming into force tomorrow under which people entering the EU country illegally can be jailed. 

Scroll down for video 

A refugee breaks down in tears as she cradles a child be the side of railway tracks at the Hungary-Serbia border near the town of Horgos. Thousands are expected to cross the border today

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A refugee breaks down in tears as she cradles a child be the side of railway tracks at the Hungary-Serbia border near the town of Horgos. Thousands are expected to cross the border today

Germany, Slovakia and Austria have started to impose border controls in a bid to control the flow of migrants through Europe

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Germany, Slovakia and Austria have started to impose border controls in a bid to control the flow of migrants through Europe

Migrants wait to board a train at the Keleti railway station in Budapest, Hungary ahead of their journey to the Austrian border this morning

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Migrants wait to board a train at the Keleti railway station in Budapest, Hungary ahead of their journey to the Austrian border this morning

Hungary is set to introduce tough new border rules under which people entering the EU country illegally can be jailed. Hungarian soldiers are pictured near the border fence

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Hungary is set to introduce tough new border rules under which people entering the EU country illegally can be jailed. Hungarian soldiers are pictured near the border fence

 

More than 5,800 migrants entered Hungary on Sunday, breaking the previous day's record of 4,330. Migrants are pictured waiting for a train in Budapest More than 5,800 migrants entered Hungary on Sunday, breaking the previous day's record of 4,330. Migrants are pictured waiting for a train in Budapest

More than 5,800 migrants entered Hungary on Sunday, breaking the previous day's record of 4,330. Migrants are pictured left and right waiting for a train in Budapest

With  both countries imposing border controls, a traffic jam built up today on a road heading to Freilassing in Germany from Salzburg in Austria

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With both countries imposing border controls, a traffic jam built up today on a road heading to Freilassing in Germany from Salzburg in Austria

A makeshift bedroom is prepared for migrants at a sports hall in Hanau, Germany. Refugees will continue to arrive in Germany despite the government's introduction of temporary border controls

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A makeshift bedroom is prepared for migrants at a sports hall in Hanau, Germany. Refugees will continue to arrive in Germany despite the government's introduction of temporary border controls

Index.hu reported that Hungary's neighbour Serbia would try to 'push through' as many as 30,000 migrants on Monday before the new Hungarian laws come in to force.

Hungarian official sources are quoted as saying Serbia would speed up the provision of buses for the migrants, who enter Serbia from Macedonia after leaving Greece.

Meanwhile, European Union members are on collision course today over proposals to distribute asylum-seekers across the continent - a plan backed by safe-haven Germany but resisted by several states in the east.

Once in Hungary, most migrants seek to travel onto western Europe, particularly to Germany and Sweden, via Austria.

But with tens of thousands crossing its frontiers, German authorities on Sunday decided to reinstate border controls, and all trains between Austria and Germany were temporarily suspended, leaving thousands effectively stranded in Austria.

In addition to the new laws, Hungary is also building a controversial 13ft fence all along its 110-mile border with Serbia.

Migrants board buses to travel from Hungary to Austria

 

On the move: A refugee cradles a tiny baby as he leads others along a railway track at the Hungary-Serbia border this morning

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On the move: A refugee cradles a tiny baby as he leads others along a railway track at the Hungary-Serbia border this morning

Step by step: Two men raise up their arms in celebration as they walk down the tracks at the border between Serbia and Hungary this morning

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Step by step: Two men raise up their arms in celebration as they walk down the tracks at the border between Serbia and Hungary this morning

In addition to the new laws, Hungary is also building a controversial 13ft fence all along its 110-mile border with Serbia. Migrants are pictured walking along the tracks near Hungary's border with Serbia

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In addition to the new laws, Hungary is also building a controversial 13ft fence all along its 110-mile border with Serbia. Migrants are pictured walking along the tracks near Hungary's border with Serbia

Thousands more migrants are expected to be 'pushed through' from Serbia to Hungary throughout today, it has been claimed

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Thousands more migrants are expected to be 'pushed through' from Serbia to Hungary throughout today, it has been claimed

Migrants who arrive in Budapest (pictured) overnight gather in the morning at the railway station as they try to be on the early trains leaving Budapest due to fears that the borders will possibly close in the coming days

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Migrants who arrive in Budapest (pictured) overnight gather in the morning at the railway station as they try to be on the early trains leaving Budapest due to fears that the borders will possibly close in the coming days

Many have been sleeping near the Keleti railway station in Budapest, Hungary, in the hope of catching early trains for the Austrian border

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Many have been sleeping near the Keleti railway station in Budapest, Hungary, in the hope of catching early trains for the Austrian border

Migrants sleep at Budapest train station on way to Austria

 

This morning, Germany's Vice Chancellor Sigmar Gabriel said the country may take in one million refugees this year, up from the record 800,000 arrivals predicted so far.

'There are many signs that Germany this year will take in not 800,000 refugees, as forecast by the interior ministry, but one million, he wrote to members of his centre-left Social Democratic party.

It comes amid fears thousands of refugees will be plunged into 'legal limbo' as EU countries impose differing border rules to deal with the migrant crisis.

The United Nations agency UNHCR warned the European Union that it must avoid fragmenting into a patchwork of countries with different border restrictions..  

EU BACKS PLANS TO BLOW UP BOATS BELONGING TO PEOPLE SMUGGLERS OPERATING IN THE MEDITERRANEAN

EU member states approved on Monday plans for military action against people smugglers in the Mediterranean, seizing and destroying boats to break up networks operating out of Libya, sources said.

The European Union launched a first, intelligence gathering phase of its EU NavFor Med operation in July but now it will be allowed to stop and if necessary destroy boats which have carried thousands of migrants risking their lives to get to Europe.

'The conditions have been met' to launch the new military phase, one European diplomat told AFP.

The decision comes as EU interior ministers meet later Monday in Brussels to try and agree quotas for the redistribution of the massive flood of migrants fleeing war and upheaval across the Middle East and North Africa.

Many member states were reluctant to step up action against the traffickers for fear of getting embroiled in Libya where rival factions have been fighting it out for control since the ouster of longtime strongman Moamer Kadhafi in 2011.

EU leaders agreed however that there had to be a much tougher response, including the use of force, after more than 700 migrants drowned off southern Italy in April.

EU member states approved on Monday plans for military action against people smugglers in the Mediterranean, seizing and destroying boats to break up networks operating out of Libya

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EU member states approved on Monday plans for military action against people smugglers in the Mediterranean, seizing and destroying boats to break up networks operating out of Libya

The second phase of the operation approved Monday still restricts EU NavFor Med to action in international waters.

A third phase involves military action against people smugglers inside Libyan territorial waters, aiming to destroy their boats and networks before they set sail.

This step is more controversial given the increased risks and requires at a minimum a UN Security Council resolution and preferably Libyan government agreement. 

EU NavFor Med currently comprises four ships - one Italian, one British and two German - and sources said it will likely need several more vessels for the enlarged mission which is expected to begin next month.

The EU, which has no central armed force of its own, has taken part in a whole series of peacekeeping and civilian emergency missions, among them anti-piracy operations off the Horn of Africa, military training in Somalia and Mali.

A motorway linking Austria to Hungary, which crosses the border at the point where thousands of migrants have been streaming west towards Germany, has been closed in both directions this morning.

'The reason is the flow of migrants expected by the police,'  the Austrian road operator ASFINAG said in a statement, adding that traffic in the other direction had been halted on the Hungarian side. How long the closure would last was unknown, it added. 

The interior minister of the southern German state of Bavaria said on Monday that temporary border controls could remain in place 'for weeks at least' as the country grapples with an unprecedented influx of refugees.

Europe's largest and richest economy has been a magnet for many people fleeing war and poverty in Syria and other parts of the Middle East and Africa, with most crossing the border from Austria into Bavaria.

Refugees wait for buses after arriving at the border between Austria and Hungary near Heiligenkreuz, about 110 miles south of Vienna

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Refugees wait for buses after arriving at the border between Austria and Hungary near Heiligenkreuz, about 110 miles south of Vienna

Migrants carry children as they wait to be taken through the border between Austria and Hungary this morning

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Migrants carry children as they wait to be taken through the border between Austria and Hungary this morning

A man and a child sleep at the main railway station in Frankfurt am Main, western Germany, where refugees from Syria, Iraq and Pakistan arrived during the night

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A man and a child sleep at the main railway station in Frankfurt am Main, western Germany, where refugees from Syria, Iraq and Pakistan arrived during the night

Refugees rested in Frankfurt am Main train station as it emerged that Germany is expecting to take in one million refugees this year

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Refugees rested in Frankfurt am Main train station as it emerged that Germany is expecting to take in one million refugees this year

Walking the line: A migrant carries two of his children down the railway track in the early morning to a temporary holding centre for migrants near the border between Serbia and Hungary in Roszke, southern Hungary

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Walking the line: A migrant carries two of his children down the railway track in the early morning to a temporary holding centre for migrants near the border between Serbia and Hungary in Roszke, southern Hungary

Hungarian soldiers arrive at the border with Serbia near Roszke. Their arrival comes as Hungary prepares to introduce tough laws on people coming into the country

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Hungarian soldiers arrive at the border with Serbia near Roszke. Their arrival comes as Hungary prepares to introduce tough laws on people coming into the country

There are reports that Serbia would try to 'push through' as many as 25-30,000 migrants on Monday before the new Hungarian laws come in to force. Migrants are pictured walking towards a checkpoint near the border shared by the two countries

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There are reports that Serbia would try to 'push through' as many as 25-30,000 migrants on Monday before the new Hungarian laws come in to force. Migrants are pictured walking towards a checkpoint near the border shared by the two countries

With thousands of refugees arriving each day, Germany said it was reaching its limits and decided to temporarily introduce border controls late on Sunday afternoon, in a bid to stem the flood of arrivals.

'We need to have a stricter control here in general, because we have established in the past few days that there are many en route here that are not really refugees,' Bavarian Interior Minister Joachim Herrmann told radio station Bayern 2.

'It's got about in the last few days that you are successful if everyone claims to be Syrian,' he added.

Controls on Germany's border with Austria have led to traffic jams at crossings this morning.

Authorities in Bavaria said there was a roughly two-mile tailback Monday on the A8 highway at Bad Reichenhall, near the Austrian city of Salzburg, news agency dpa reported. Regional broadcaster Bayerischer Rundfunk reported a four-mile queue on the A3 highway near Passau.

Hungarian official sources say Serbia will speed up the provision of buses for the migrants today. Hungarian soldiers are pictured gathering near the border with Serbia at Roszke this morning

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Hungarian official sources say Serbia will speed up the provision of buses for the migrants today. Hungarian soldiers are pictured gathering near the border with Serbia at Roszke this morning

Migrants walk through the night towards a checkpoint along the railway tracks connecting Horgos and Szeged near Roszke, near the border between Hungary and Serbia

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Migrants walk through the night towards a checkpoint along the railway tracks connecting Horgos and Szeged near Roszke, near the border between Hungary and Serbia

A spokesman for German police on the border with Austria said they had arrested around 30 smugglers and about 90 migrants since the controls had been introduced.

Meanwhile, train lines between Austria and Germany reopened on Monday morning apart from one line to Munich, which was still closed because of people on the track, a spokeswoman for Austrian rail company OeBB said.

Luxembourg Foreign Minister Jean Asselborn told German radio that he understood Germany's decision, but said it was important that it remained a temporary measure.

'We need to all mind out that this doesn't result in a domino effect and that Schengen really collapses,' he said, referring to Europe's system of open borders.

He called on interior ministers from the EU's 28 member states who are meeting in Brussels on Monday to reach concrete decisions on how to redistribute about 160,000 asylum seekers across the bloc.

Not everyone in Germany believed the move to close the borders would improve the situation on the ground.

Border controls: A Hungarian soldier patrols along a huge fence erected along the border with Serbia near Roszke ahead of an expected influx of some 30,000 migrants

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Border controls: A Hungarian soldier patrols along a huge fence erected along the border with Serbia near Roszke ahead of an expected influx of some 30,000 migrants

The sharp increase in refugees arriving in Hungary came ahead of laws coming into force tomorrow under which people entering the EU country illegally can be jailed

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The sharp increase in refugees arriving in Hungary came ahead of laws coming into force tomorrow under which people entering the EU country illegally can be jailed

'These measures will not create more order but only much more chaos and will ensure that the conditions for the people now sitting or standing on the other side of the border will get even worse,' the parliamentary leader of the opposition Greens, Katrin Goering-Eckhardt told rbb radio.

It comes as France called for the 'scrupulous respect by all European Union countries' of rules setting out the bloc's borderless Schengen zone.

'These rules, in particular, require the registration of migrants in the country where they crossed the (EU's) external borders,' French Interior Minister Bernard Cazeneuve said in a statement after speaking with his German counterpart. 

Germany made the decision to reimpose border controls after admitting it could no longer cope with a record influx of refugees. The city of Munich alone recorded an influx of 63,000 asylum seekers in two weeks. 

Under the Schengen agreement, temporary border controls are allowed for reasons of 'public policy or internal security'.

France's anti-EU, far-right National Front on Sunday party urged France's leaders to 'suspend urgently the Schengen agreement and re-establish its borders, especially with Germany.'

Families could be seen walking along the litter-strewn railway track between Serbia and Hungary this morning as it emerged that record numbers arrived in Hungary on Sunday

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Families could be seen walking along the litter-strewn railway track between Serbia and Hungary this morning as it emerged that record numbers arrived in Hungary on Sunday

There have been claims that Serbia is laying on extra buses to transport migrants ahead of a new clampdown on border rules in neighbouring Hungary

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There have been claims that Serbia is laying on extra buses to transport migrants ahead of a new clampdown on border rules in neighbouring Hungary

Interior ministers from EU nations will meet this afternoon in an emergency council called to deal with the unprecedented influx of migrants.

Diplomats said after talks in Brussels on Sunday that Hungary, Slovakia and the Czech Republic were refusing to accept the compulsory distribution of 120,000 asylum seekers - even though Hungary, which has taken in large numbers, would benefit.

Renewed discussions on Monday morning did not produce any breakthrough either. One diplomat said Lithuania and Romania had also expressed unhappiness with the scheme that would oblige them to take in thousands of migrants fleeing violence and oppression in Iraq, Syria or Eritrea.

'I don't have the idea that we will get agreement at ministerial level,' the diplomat said, adding that meeting may just result in vague words on future relocation of migrants.

'The biggest question will be if there will be a wording on quota system and how it will look like,' said another.

Refugees who came via Hungary, are pictured in Nickelsdorf, Austria today. Controls on Germany's border with Austria have led to traffic jams at crossings this morning

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Refugees who came via Hungary, are pictured in Nickelsdorf, Austria today. Controls on Germany's border with Austria have led to traffic jams at crossings this morning

Train lines between Austria and Germany reopened on Monday morning apart from one line to Munich, which was still closed because of people on the track. Refugees are pictured at a temporary camp in Austria today

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Train lines between Austria and Germany reopened on Monday morning apart from one line to Munich, which was still closed because of people on the track. Refugees are pictured at a temporary camp in Austria today

European Council President Donald Tusk said on Friday he would summon EU leaders for an emergency summit if their ministers could not agree a solution. However, some governments question the value of such a meeting before interior ministers meet again for a regular council on Oct. 8.

Among arguments EU and German officials have used to press eastern leaders who say their societies cannot take in large numbers of immigrants have been warnings that failure to fix a common plan on migration could wreck the Schengen open borders system which is especially valued in formerly communist states. 

Home affairs ministers will first receive a briefing by a number of EU and United Nations bodies, such as EU border agency Frontex and refugee agency UNHCR, about the latest information on migratory flows.

They will also hear a presentation by the European Commission on its new proposals to redistribute asylum seekers across the bloc.

An earlier plan to relocate 40,000 from Italy and Greece is expected to be given a legal green light by ministers, partly because it is voluntary - a result of EU leaders blocking a Juncker proposal for mandatory quotas in June.

Diplomats said that Hungarian objections to the separate Juncker plan to relocate 120,000 from Italy, Greece and Hungary meant that the wording of the proposal would no longer specify from which countries asylum-seekers would be moved.

Talks among EU envoys had also led to tougher wording on plans to deport unwanted migrants and tighten defences of the bloc's external borders - demands especially of eastern states.

 

 

 

 



 

DISPLACED PEOPLE OF WWII

Betti Malek—pictured on May 17, 1945—was one of numerous child refugees brought from Belgium to England after the Germans seized Antwerp in 1940.

German refugees and displaced persons crowding every square inch of a train leaving Berlin after the war's end. 1945.

On Aug. 10, 1944, a girl and her grandmother wait in a schoolyard in Saint-Pois, Normandy, France.  Refugees fled to Saint-Pois to escape the fighting in Mortaine during the final battle for Normandy.

In 1945, a handful of survivors remain of the 150 refugees who left Lodz in Poland two months earlier, headed for Berlin. They follow railway lines in the hope of being picked up by a British train.

AP Photo

Betti Malek—pictured on May 17, 1945—was one of numerous child refugees brought from Belgium to England after the Germans seized Antwerp in 1940.

Refugees in La Gleize, Belgium, on Jan. 2, 1945, wait to be transported from the war-torn town after its recapture by American forces during the German thrust into the Belgium-Luxembourg salient.

Refugees from across Central Europe queue for food at an Allied Forces refugee camp in Germany, on Mar. 20, 1945.

A stream of refugees and people who have been bombed out of their homes moving through destroyed streets in Germany in 1945, after end of war. On the left, two Soviet soldiers can be seen patrolling.

Peter J. Carroll—AP Photo

Refugees in La Gleize, Belgium, on Jan. 2, 1945, wait to be transported from the war-torn town after its recapture by American forces during the German thrust into the Belgium-Luxembourg salient.

 

A group of Dutch refugee children arriving at Coventry Station in the U.K., in 1945.

German refugees fleeing from the Russian zone in the first few weeks after the end of World War II in Europe, seen on Oct. 25, 1945. They are sleeping on straw in a makeshift  transit camp at Uelzen in the British zone of Germany.

German refugees crowding the market square on Mar. 3, 1945, at Juchen, Germany, a town captured by the U.S. Army at the end of the Second World War.

Ian Smith—The LIFE Picture Collection/Getty Images

A group of Dutch refugee children arriving at Coventry Station in the U.K., in 1945.

 

Exhausted, homeless German refugees huddled in a city municipal building seeking shelter. 1945.

Dutch child refugees arrival In Britain at Tilbury, Essex, on Mar. 11, 1945. The small paper parcel under the boy's arm contains all his luggage.

Refugees from eastern Germany around 1944-1945.

Leonard McCombe—The LIFE Images Collection/Getty Images

Exhausted, homeless German refugees huddled in a city municipal building seeking shelter. 1945.

 

German civilian refugees prepare to flee war-torn Aachen, Germany as the battle for the doomed city draws to a close, Oct. 24, 1944.

Women and children  standing at the roadside in 1945.

Swiss Jew Eva Bass, formerly a nightclub singer in Paris, entering refugee camp at Fort Ontario, with her children Yolanda and Joachim, whom she carried on a 60-km trek through the fighting lines to reach the American transport ship Henry Gibbins. 1944.

Keystone—AP Photo

German civilian refugees prepare to flee war-torn Aachen, Germany as the battle for the doomed city draws to a close, Oct. 24, 1944.

 

German civilian refugees walking through the streets of Aachen, Germany, on their way to a safer area away from the combat zone, on Oct. 15, 1944.

A Civil Affairs Refugee Camp in France, 1944.

War refugees walking through Berlin with their belongings on Dec. 15, 1945.

FPG/Hulton Archive—Getty Images

German civilian refugees walking through the streets of Aachen, Germany, on their way to a safer area away from the combat zone, on Oct. 15, 1944.

 

A Frenchwoman with two children and belongings loaded on a baby carriage seen in Haguenau, France on Feb. 20, 1945, before they started on their long trek to a safe rear area.  They are some of the refugees leaving the town because of the planned withdrawal of the 7th U.S. Army.

An attendant with white brassard (front, r) accompanies newly arrived refugees, in January 1946, through the refugee camp in Bebra, Germany.

A Frenchwoman with two children and belongings loaded on a baby carriage seen in Haguenau, France on Feb. 20, 1945, before they started on their long trek to a safe rear area. They are some of the refugees leaving the town because of the planned withdrawal of the 7th U.S. Army.

 

 

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