Migrants resume protests at Budapest railway station
Hundreds of migrants demanding free passage to Germany protested for a second day Wednesday at Budapest’s main international train station.
Riot police outside the Keleti terminal pushed back the migrants, who were told they had to go to camps set up in Hungary. The migrants, denied access to the trains, shouted at police in Arabic and English, but the demonstration did not turn violent.
Europe has experienced an unprecedented influx of refugees this year, with hundreds of thousands of people fleeing conflict and poverty in the Middle East, Asia and Africa for a better life in European Union countries.
The 28-nation bloc has been struggling for months to handle the more than 332,000 migrants who have arrived this year.
The countries most affected — Greece, Italy and Hungary — have asked for more help. Germany, which is expecting to receive about 800,000 asylum seekers this year, has called on EU partners to share more of the burden by accepting larger numbers of migrants.
The foreign ministers of Italy, France and Germany signed a joint document Wednesday calling for a “strong response to the crisis” and for a review of current EU rules on granting asylum and a “fair” distribution of migrants within the EU.
The document says the migrant crisis has “clearly shown the limits and defects” of the rules on asylum and that they need to be reassessed.
This is one of Europe’s biggest stream of migrants since World War II. The 28-member EU plans to hold emergency talks on the issue on September 14.
However, German police reported that only about 50 migrants arrived on the morning trains to Munich on Wednesday, compared with 2,400 on Tuesday.
Also Wednesday, 13 people died when two small boats transporting migrants from Turkey to the Greek island of Kos capsized. Turkish media said 12 people drowned, including a woman and three children, while a 13th person died later in a hospital.
Greece’s coast guard recovered the body of a man south of the island of Kalolimnos, but it was not clear whether that body was connected to the capsized Turkish boats about 22 kilometers to the northeast.
The Greek coast guard said it had rescued 1,058 people in 28 Aegean Sea locations over the past 24 hours. More than 200,000 migrants have reached Greece this year, mainly from neighboring Turkey, where more than 1 million people from Syria, Iraq and Afghanistan live in refugee camps.
Police in northern Greece arrested six suspected smugglers after finding 103 migrants, including 19 children, hidden in a truck.
A spokesman for the U.N. refugee agency, Babar Baloch, told VOA, “All the countries have their own responsibility to deal with this crisis.”