Migrants in crisis: Stranded at Hungary train station; drowned near Turkey
BUDAPEST, Hungary — Hundreds of migrants chanted angry slogans outside Budapest's main international train station Wednesday. For the second day, Hungarian police had stopped them from traveling to Germany and other wealthy European countries.
"What we want? Peace! What we need? Peace!" the migrants shouted. The Keleti train station has become the latest flash point for tensions over the flow of migrants from the Middle East, Asia and Africa escaping war and poverty.
Viktor Orban is Hungary's prime minister. A government spokesman said he will take a "clear and obvious message" to his meeting Thursday with European Union (EU) leaders. The EU is a group of 28 European countries that have a common currency, economic policies and open borders.
"We have to reinstate law and order at the borders of the European Union, including the border with Serbia," Zoltan Kovacs said. He said that without enforcing the law, it will be impossible to handle the flood of migrants.
332,000 Enter Europe This Year
The EU has not been able to agree on how to deal with the tidal wave of migrants to Europe. More than 332,000 have entered so far this year. Nations that are seeing the most migrants like Greece, Italy and Hungary have pleaded for more help. Meanwhile, Germany, which expects to take in 800,000 migrants this year, the most in the EU, has demanded that other nations step up and take in more asylum-seekers.
The situation is dire. Turkish media reported that 11 migrants drowned as they tried to cross the sea to Greece. French authorities said Eurostar trains were returning to normal Wednesday. They were stopped overnight following reports of migrants running on the tunnel tracks and trying to climb atop trains.
Some Meet Tragic End At Sea
On a beach in Turkey, people pulled the bodies of migrants out of the water. Six other migrants were rescued and five remained missing after two boats carrying them from Bodrun in Turkey to the nearby Greek island of Kos capsized Wednesday. The dead apparently included a mother and three children.
The Greek coast guard also recovered the body of a man south of the island of Kalolimnos.
Hungary's police said they intend to put more officers outside the Keleti terminal. About 3,000 migrants already are camped near the station. Hungarian police were also working to find migrants traveling on Hungarian trains.
Hungary Says It Follows EU Rules
The Hungarian government insisted it was following EU rules on migration.
Kovacs also defended Hungary's 13-foot-high fence being built on the border with Serbia and the tougher migration laws it expects to pass. Those new laws allow authorities to make quick decisions on asylum requests. They will also make it illegal to cut through the fence or cross the border except at certain areas.
Kovacs said Hungary would stop migrants from coming illegally.
The clampdown on migrants had an immediate effect. German police reported Wednesday that only about 50 migrants arrived on the morning trains to Munich, compared with 2,400 on Tuesday.
People Flee Wars In Middle East
The Greek coast guard, meanwhile, said it had rescued 1,058 migrants over the past 24 hours. More than 200,000 migrants have reached Greece this year. They have come mainly from neighboring Turkey. More than 1 million people live in refugee camps there, fleeing from wars in Syria, Iraq and Afghanistan.
Greek police also arrested six smugglers after 103 migrants, including 19 children, were found hidden in a truck.
In France, passengers aboard one Paris-to-London train said migrants trying to climb on the train had damaged fire safety equipment. In tweets, passengers also described seeing migrants running along the roofs of another train.
In Iceland, people are using social media to challenge the government's pledge to host just 50 Syrians. They are urging their government to do more. Some residents went online to say they would open their homes to a war refugee. Others have urged the government to turn an unused army base into migrant housing.
Naval boats from several nations patrolled the Mediterranean off the coast of Libya on Wednesday. They were trying to prevent more migrants from drowning. A Norwegian ship was carrying about 800 rescued migrants, including 11 pregnant women and more than 30 children, to the Italian island of Sardinia.
One migrant spoke wearily about missing his family.
"They call me every day and they say to me that they miss me. And I say I miss you. But there's no way to see them," Afghan migrant Abdullah Bakhshi said, as he walked along a road on the Greek island of Lesbos.