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Refugees flood into re-opened Hungary train station

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Thousands of refugees have stormed into the main train station in Budapest after police re-opened it following a two-day standoff.

Thousands had spent the night outside the station in the heart of the Hungarian capital.

They want to get on trains to either Austria or Germany, but for two days, authorities blocked them from travelling.

“It was like a human tide racing through the entrance of the station. It was an extraordinary scene,” Al Jazeera’s Andrew Simmons, reporting from Budapest, said.

“It reminds of us the World War II refugee crisis,” our correspondent added.

“Some sources say Austria agreed to take in 1,500 refugees. However, there is no official statement on the issue.”

In a statement on Thursday, Hungary’s railway operator said no international trains would be leaving the Keleti station “for an indefinite period”.

On Wednesday, the refugees shouted “freedom, freedom” and called to be let onto trains as Hungarian authorities said for a second day that they would prevent anyone without a valid visa from entering the station.

A spokesperson for the Hungarian government reiterated that: “In the territory of the EU, illegal migrants can travel onwards only with valid documents and observing EU rules.

“A train ticket does not overwrite EU rules.”

The station has been open to Hungarians and tourists but refugees, even those with valid tickets, were turned away.

The chaotic scenes in Budapest came as the International Organisation for Migration published new figures revealing the scale of Europe’s biggest refugee crisis since World War II.

Out of the 350,000 arrivals by sea so far this year, 234,770 alone were in Greece, the figures showed.

That figure by itself is more than the entire European total for all of 2014.

Hungary has been criticised for its response to the crisis, including the construction of a fence on its border.

Hungary’s parliament could pass most of the legal amendments aimed at stemming an influx of refugees and migrants this week, possibly reducing the number of illegal border crossings to “zero” by the middle of the month, a senior ruling party legislator said on Thursday.

via #starmuzicnews

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