Hundreds of migrants stranded in Hungary are protesting outside a rail station, after police stopped them boarding trains to Germany for a second day, Sky News reports. Around 3,000 people are outside Keleti station in Budapest, the Hungarian capital’s main international railway station. Many of them spent the night sleeping outside the entrance, guarded by police.
Hundreds protested in front of the terminal on Wednesday, shouting “freedom, freedom”, and demanding to be let onto trains. “What we want? Peace! What we need? Peace!” they also shouted.Hungarian police have said they intend to reinforce their positions outside the station as the volume of migrants arriving from Serbia continues to grow.
Hungarian authorities are sticking to European Union rules. “In the territory of the EU, illegal migrants can travel onwards only with valid documents and observing EU rules,” a government spokesman said. “A train ticket does not overwrite EU rules.” On Tuesday, police forced hundreds of migrants outside the terminal as the government temporarily suspended all rail traffic there.
It marks a U-turn for Hungary, which over the weekend started to allow migrants to travel by train to western Europe without going through asylum procedures. The closure of the station appeared prompted in part by pressure from other EU nations trying to cope with the influx of thousands of migrants flowing through Hungary. Trainloads of migrants arrived in Austria and Germany from Hungary on Monday as asylum rules collapsed under the strain of a wave of migration unprecedented in the EU.
More than 150,000 migrants have travelled to the country this year, because it is the gateway to the EU for those crossing by land from nations including Syria and Afghanistan, across Macedonia and Serbia.Army engineers have begun building a 4m-high fence along the border with non-EU member Serbia in an attempt to control the problem. The country’s foreign minister has said the government plans to register all refugees, but added economic migrants will be sent back to the state from which they entered Hungary.