Private convoy collects hundreds of tired migrants
Published 07/09/2015 | 02:30
A convoy of around 140 cars and vans filled with food and water left Vienna yesterday to collect exhausted refugees, many from Syria, who had set out to walk the 170km in the rain from Hungary's capital Budapest to the Austrian border.
Meanwhile, thousands of migrants streamed into Germany, many travelling through Austria from Hungary where they had been stranded against their will for days.
Onlookers clapped and chanted, "Say it loud, say it clear, refugees are welcome here," as volunteers loaded their vehicles with food, water and soft toys.
A total of 6,800 migrants entered Germany on Saturday with another 5,000 expected yesterday, Bavarian state officials said.
Germany has said it expects 800,000 refugees and migrants this year and urged other EU members to open their doors. But others say the focus should be on tackling the violence in the Middle East that has caused them to flee their homes.
The numbers in Europe are small compared to several million refugees in Syria's neighbours Lebanon, Turkey and Jordan.
But a poll in France's 'Aujourd 'hui en France' newspaper showed that 55pc of French people are opposed to softening rules for migrants to access refugee status.
A dozen or so well-wishers offering chocolate and bananas greeted between 600 and 700 people, mostly from Syria, arriving on two trains into the southern German city of Munich early yesterday morning.
Most were bussed to reception centres after being given medical checks, food and clean clothing.
Many said they were from Syria, while others were from Afghanistan or Iraq.
In Hungary, migrants freely boarded trains at Keleti station in Budapest, following handwritten signs in Arabic directing people to trains to Hegyeshalom on the border with Austria. Volunteers handed out food and clothing to hundreds of migrants filling the station.
Around 4,000 crossed into Austria from Hungary yesterday. More than 10,000 have left Hungary since the border was thrown open on Saturday after thousands spent days camping outside the station.
Hungary deployed more than 100 buses overnight on Saturday to take to Austria thousands of migrants who had streamed into the country after northward journeys through the Balkans from Greece. Austria said it had agreed with Germany to allow the migrants access, temporarily waiving asylum rules that require migrants to register in the first EU country that they reach.