Some 17,000 asylum seekers entered Germany over the weekend from Hungary, prompting Bavaria’s interior minister to announce that it was unacceptable for Germany to bear the weight of Europe’s refugee crisis alone. “It is not possible to behave this way towards one another in Europe,” he said, calling on Berlin to bring this to the attention of the leaders of fellow EU Member States.
On Saturday 6780 migrants arrived to Bavaria alone, with another 1200 arriving Sunday morning. On Saturday 26 trains transported some 6900 asylum seekers to Germany. On Sunday German authorities were bracing to receive another 10,000 refugees from Hungary via Austria. The arrival to Austria of some 14,000 asylum seekers over the weekend prompted Chancellor Werner Faymann to state that opening the Austrian border to refugees was only a temporary measure that needed to be replaced with a unified European policy.
Meanwhile, 530 miles to the east, between 2000 and 2500 asylum seekers arrived to the Hungarian border town of Röszke on Sunday. Those waiting to be bused to one of two registration centers lit fires to stay warm as temperatures dropped to 10 degrees Celsius and below.
Origo.hu reports that the reception of asylum seekers in Röszke appears better organized than only a few weeks ago: “As soon as the refugees cross the border, police are supplying them with food and information”. The online news portal further reports that the asylum seekers appear to be calmer than before and are no longer refusing to give fingerprints or to go to refugee centers.
Meanwhile scores of volunteers arrived to Röszke from Austria, Germany and the Czech Republic bearing food and clothing. They report that there continues to be a great shortage of blankets as asylum seekers arrive with little more than the shirts on their backs. Furthermore, their tweets indicate a very strong police presence there, including riot police.
Origo.hu reports that the Hungarian government has started distributing pamphlets south of the border warning asylum seekers that crossing the Hungarian border is a crime punishable by imprisonment. “Hungary is pleased to receive everybody, but deals very strictly with those who try to enter the country illegally,” reads the pamphlet, warning asylum seekers not to pay heed to human traffickers.
Origo.hu reported at 5:55 pm that a train from Serbia filled with asylum seekers was not allowed to enter Hungary, and that buses filled with asylum seekers had stopped arriving from nearby Subotica.
On the Hungarian side of the Austrian border in Hegyeshalom, Origo.hu reports that trains filled with asylum seekers were arriving every hour. There Austrian volunteers distributed water, food and fruit to those waiting for the train to Vienna while Hungarian police directed asylum seekers to the platform where they could board a train to Vienna.
Receiving the refugees in Nickelsdorf were numerous Austrian volunteers distributing clothing, shoes, coffee, tea, fruit and bread. Among the volunteers were a number of Syrian immigrants. One told Origo.hu that he looked forward to returning to Syria once the civil war ends.