(NVO) – Men, women, small children- they walk along the train tracks from Serbia into Hungary while it’s still dark hoping to evade authorities.
Two to three thousand migrants make the journey every day… hoping to travel onwards to Germany or other richer countries in western Europe.
They fear ending up here, at one of many holding stations on the Hungarian side of the border.
Thousands have been camping out at the Budapest train station for days. Some have tickets to Germany, but Hungarian authorities are not letting them leave.
REFUGEE FROM SYRIA, AHMED SALAH,
“The situation for the people who have come today or yesterday is that they have tickets, people who have tickets (unintelligible). You come, but police (say) no. After maybe today, I don’t know. People are sleeping here since yesterday.”
The sheer number of migrants seeking asylum is part of the problem. Hungary has become a primary gateway for migrants travelling over land through the Balkans into the EU.
Wherever migrants enter the EU, they’re required to apply for asylum- and stay in that country until their applications are processed. But most of the EU countries don’t enforce border controls and people are eager to get to northern countries as soon as possible.
For their part, Germany is likely to accept the largest number of migrants- some 800,000- nearly four times the amount they accepted last year.
EU officials are drawing up plans to spread out the migrants across Europe, and figure out which people are genuine refugees.