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The United Nations warns that a daily flow of about 8,000 Syrian and Iraqi refugees to Europe is likely to continue.

The figure came from UN regional coordinator for refugees Amin Awad, who spoke to Reuters news agency.

More than 5,000 refugees are arriving daily in Greece.

That flow could continue during the winter if the weather remains good and the borders open, the International Organisation for Migration (IOM) said.

About half a million migrants – mostly from Syria and other conflict zones in the Middle East and Africa – have arrived in Europe this year.EU refugee influx 2015

The refugee influx has caused tensions between EU neighbors in Central Europe, which continued on September 25 despite a visit to Austria by Hungary’s PM Viktor Orban.

Viktor Orban and Austrian Chancellor Werner Faymann did not appear together in public after their talks.

Werner Faymann had earlier likened Hungary’s tough handling of migrants to the policies of Nazi Germany – a comparison angrily dismissed by Hungary.

Speaking in Vienna, Viktor Orban said Hungary had to build a fence on its border with Croatia like the razor-wire fence completed on its border with Serbia.

What happens on the Croatia-Hungary border will be “decisive in the next few days” for the refugee crisis, he said. Hungary has nearly completed the fence on that border.

Hungary’s traditionally good relations with Austria must be maintained, Viktor Orban said, urging Vienna to show “clear support” for protection of the EU’s external borders.

Croatia – the EU’s newest member state – has struggled with an influx of migrants from Serbia, since they were blocked at the Hungarian border. Croatia-Serbia tensions escalated into a war of words.

On September 25, Croatia’s PM Zoran Milanovic said he was working to lift the country’s border restrictions “today or tomorrow”.

Vehicles have been blocked and Serbia – a candidate to join the EU – angrily compared the restrictions with “those of the World War Two fascist regime”.

Scars remain from the Serb-Croat fighting of the 1990s, when Yugoslavia disintegrated in inter-ethnic conflict.

The EU’s Commissioner for European Neighbourhood Policy, Johannes Hahn, visited a refugee camp in the border zone on September 25 with Serbia’s PM Aleksandar Vucic.

Deep divisions surfaced in the EU this week when ministers agreed to relocate about 120,000 refugees across Europe.

The refugees – from Syria, Iraq and Eritrea – will be transferred from Greece and Italy, to ease the pressure on overcrowded reception centers there.

However, there is still a dispute about the distribution plan. Hungary, Romania, the Czech Republic and Slovakia voted against it. They resent the imposition of quotas, arguing that they are ill-equipped to integrate non-EU rrefugees.

Many of the refugees are determined to reach Germany, whose Chancellor Angela Merkel has urged EU partners to take in more refugees. Germany expects to have at least 800,000 asylum seekers in 2015.

Germany’s federal government has pledged €4 billion ($4.5 billion) to its regional states, double the current levels of funding, to help them cope with a record refugee influx.


EU home affairs ministers have approved a controversial plan to relocate 120,000 migrants across Europe over the next two years.

It will see refugees moved from Italy, Greece and Hungary to other EU countries.

Hungary, Slovakia, Romania and the Czech Republic voted against accepting mandatory quotas.

After the vote, Slovakia’s prime minister said he would not accept the new quotas.EU refugee quota plan 2015

Finland abstained from the vote. Poland, which had opposed the proposal, voted for it.

It is highly unusual for an issue like this – which involves national sovereignty – to be decided by majority vote rather than unanimous decision.

The matter must now be ratified by EU leaders in Brussels on September 23.

Earlier in the day, the Czech government warned that the plan was unlikely to work, even if it gained approval.

The UN refugee agency said the scheme would be insufficient, given the large numbers arriving in Europe.

“A relocation program alone, at this stage in the crisis, will not be enough to stabilize the situation,” UNHCR spokeswoman Melissa Fleming said.

The number of those needing relocation will probably have to be revised upwards significantly, she said.


EU ministers are meeting in Brussels to try to resolve a dispute over how to relocate 120,000 refugees who have recently arrived in Europe.

Some central European states have resisted calls for EU members to accept mandatory quotas.

Whatever is decided, the UN says the EU’s plans will not be enough.

The refugees are part of 500,000 to have arrived by sea this year so far. Germany says it expects at least 800,000 this year.

The arrival of hundreds of thousands of asylum seekers has created deep EU divisions.

Home affairs ministers meeting in Brussels on September 22 are hoping to reach agreement which would be ratified by EU leaders on September 23.EU refugee crisis 2015

Hungary, Slovakia, the Czech Republic and Poland all oppose the idea of obligatory quotas, promoted by Germany which has accepted large numbers of migrants.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel said two weeks ago that mandatory quotas were “a first step” towards a more permanent scheme to deal with the influx.

However, mandatory quotas have now been dropped, diplomats say, and a voluntary relocation scheme is now on the table.

Most of those arriving in the EU are from war-torn Syria, the European Commission says.

The relocation scheme would prioritize refugees recognized as “in need of international protection” – those from Syria, Eritrea and Iraq, according to EU data.

The 120,000 would be transferred from Hungary, Greece and Italy – the states where most migrants have been entering the EU.

The UK, under an opt-out, would not be part of the relocation scheme but has already agreed to take 20,000 refugees directly from countries bordering Syria over the next five years.

The Irish Republic and Denmark, with similar opt-outs, have agreed to take part in the EU scheme.

The UN Refugee Agency has warned that the relocation scheme will be insufficient given the large numbers arriving in Europe.

“A relocation program alone, at this stage in the crisis, will not be enough to stabilize the situation,” spokeswoman Melissa Fleming said.

The number of those needing to be relocated will probably need to be revised upwards significantly, she said.

Newcomers continued arriving in southern Europe on September 22 in the hope of making their way north to Germany and Scandinavia.

Hundreds are crossing the Hungarian border into Austria – and about 4,000 are reaching the Greek island of Lesbos every day.


Hungarian PM Viktor Orban has said Europe’s borders are threatened by migration, at the start of a week of intense diplomatic activity on the crisis.

Viktor Orban said refugees were “breaking the doors” and that a united stance was required.

Ministers from Poland, Hungary, the Czech Republic and Slovakia met to discuss an EU proposal for quotas, which they oppose.

Some EU countries want refugees shared out more evenly across the EU.Hungary refugee crisis 2015

Germany and France are among those who back plans to share the burden of relocating 120,000 migrants from Greece, Italy and Hungary.

“They are over-running us,” said Viktor Orban, shortly before Hungary’s parliament agreed to hand more powers to the army.

“They’re not just banging on the door, they’re breaking the doors down on top of us. Our borders are under threat. Hungary is under threat and so is the whole of Europe.”

The new law allows Hungary’s army to use rubber bullets, tear gas and net guns to control migrants at its border.

Police would also now be allowed to enter private homes to search for people they believed had entered Hungary illegally, the AFP reported.

Viktor Orban, whose stance on immigration has drawn heavy criticism from European colleagues, made the comments at the start of a week of critical talks.


At least 10,000 refugees have arrived in Austria on September 19, amid bitter rows among EU nations on how to handle the growing crisis.

The refugees had been sent from Croatia into Hungary, which in turn shipped them on to Austria.

Hungary accused Croatia of breaking the rules by failing to register the refugees.

Meanwhile, 26 refugees are missing after their boat sank off Greece.

Coastguards managed to rescue 20 people but were told the boat had been carrying 46 people when it sank off the Greek island of Lesbos.Refugees enter Austria 2015

Separately, a search is continuing for 13 people still missing after their boat sank in the same waters on September 19, killing a five-year-old girl.

On the same day, Austrian police said they were expecting at least 10,000 arrivals, while the head of the Austrian Red Cross, Gerry Foitik, later told Austria Presse Agentur (APA) that between 12,000 to 13,000 people had entered the country over the course of the day.

The deputy police chief of Austria’s Burgenland state, Christian Stella, told APA that Hungary had not given enough warning.

Austrian Interior Minister Johanna Mikl-Leitner accused neighboring countries of failing to follow EU rules, expressing concern that migrants were also arriving from Croatia via Slovenia.

One refugee, who crossed into the Austrian town of Heiligenkreuz from Hungary, told the Associated Press: “I feel like I’ve been born anew. It makes no difference whether I am delayed, whether I stay here two days. The important thing is that I’ve finally arrived and that I am now finally safe.”

Croatia has seen 20,000 refugees entering from Serbia since September 16 and, after initially welcoming them, said it was unable to cope and moved them on.

PM Zoran Milanovic admitted there was no agreement with Hungary.

“We forced them, by sending people up there. And we’ll keep doing it,” he said.

Hungarian Foreign Minister Peter Szijjarto branded Zoran Milanovic “pathetic”, adding: “Instead of honestly making provision for the immigrants, it sent them straight to Hungary. What kind of European solidarity is this?”

The Hungarian government accused Croatia of breaching international law by failing to register refugees and said all asylum seekers would be registered in Hungary before they could leave for northern Europe.

However, a number of refugees who reached Austria via Hungary ssaid they had not been registered in Hungary either, simply driven in buses across the country and told to walk over a railway line into Austria.

While Hungary continues to transport refugees arriving from Croatia, it is building a razor-wire fence on the border that will be completed soon.

Hungary says it will then enforce the same tough laws it introduced earlier this week on its Serbian border – where there is a similar fence – making crossing it a criminal offence.

However, government spokesman Zoltan Kovacs said that “at the moment” stopping the flow “seems to be impractical”.


Thousands of refugees pushed through the Croatian riot police lines in the town of Tovarnik at the Serbian border.

Refugees waiting for hours in blazing heat grew frustrated, though the situation is quieter now.

Croatia is struggling to deal with at least 7,300 arrivals since September 16 after Hungary closed its border with Serbia, blocking the previous route into the EU.

European Union leaders will hold an emergency summit next week to discuss the crisis.Refugees in Tovarnik Croatia

Croatian officials say refugees must apply for asylum there or be treated as illegal immigrants.

Authorities seem to be overwhelmed and surprised by the number of refugees – most of whom wish to travel on to other EU countries – and the Croatian interior minister has said the country is “absolutely full”.

Correspondents described the scenes in Tovarnik as mayhem, after several thousand refugees who had crossed from Serbia were held back by riot police, trying to get them to wait for transport on from the border.

Croatian police eventually gave way under pressure. Some of the refugees said they intended to walk to Slovenia.

Many are exhausted with supplies of food and water running low.

Croatia’s President Kolinda Grabar Kitarovic has asked the army to be ready to protect the country’s borders from “the illegal migration”, state news agency Hina reported.

Hungarian media reported that dozens of refugees were crossing from Croatia into Hungary at Illocska – thus avoiding the fence on Hungary’s border with Serbia.

Croatia said it would allow migrants to travel into northern Europe, but officials in Slovenia – which borders Croatia to the north – have said they would tighten their border security and would stick to rules which require asylum-seekers to register on arrival.

Slovenia, like Hungary, is an entry point to the Schengen zone, which normally allows people to travel between member countries without restrictions.

On September 16, hundreds of refugees were involved in clashes at the Hungary-Serbia border after Hungarian authorities used water cannon and tear gas to stop migrants forcing their way through.

Zeid Raad al-Hussein, a UN top human rights official, said the images from the Hungarian border were “truly shocking”.


United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon has said he is “shocked” after Hungarian riot police used tear gas and water cannon against refugees at Serbian border.

According to Ban Ki-moon, such treatment of asylum seekers was “unacceptable”.

Hundreds of refugees were involved in clashes at the Hungary-Serbia border on September 16, trying to breach a razor-wire fence.

More than 5,000 refugees have entered Croatia so far – avoiding Hungary – police say, and another 7,266 entered Germany on September 16.

German police said this was more than double the number that crossed the previous day, adding that most were picked up on the border with Austria.

Germany is the final goal of many refugees, as the EU remains divided over how to deal with the crisis.

Hungary defended its action, saying that 20 police officers were injured as refugees tried to break through a gate, and a spokesman accused migrants of using children as “human shields”.

At least two refugees were also injured, Hungarian and Serbian officials said.Hungary police fire at refugees

Hungary closed its entire border with Serbia on September 15 after making it illegal to enter the country or damage the border fence. The Hungarian courts have started fast-track trials of arrested refugees.

More than 200,000 people have already crossed into Hungary this year to enter the EU’s Schengen zone, which normally allows people to travel between member countries without restrictions.

Many are now heading for the Croatian border. Croatian police said 5,650 had crossed into the country.

Interior Minister Ranko Ostojic told national TV that the police were currently in control of the situation but if refugees continued to arrive in large numbers the authorities would have to think about taking a different approach.

On September 16, the Croatian officials said the country would allow migrants to travel to northern Europe.

Several hundred left the border by train, but thousands more have gathered to wait for further trains.

On September 16, there were chaotic scenes near the town of Horgos, with fires burning and police vehicles and ambulances arriving on the Serbian side of the border, across from massed ranks of riot police on the other side.

Some refugees threw missiles, including stones and water bottles.

The firing of tear gas and water cannon created a stampede of refugees away from the border.

Several people received treatment from the Serbian ambulance service, some suffering the effects of tear gas.

Serbian PM Aleksandar Vucic accused Hungary of being “brutal and “non-European”.

Serbia has said it will send additional police to its border with Hungary.


Dozens of refugees have reached Croatia – opening up a new route to northern EU countries, a day after Hungary sealed its border with Serbia.

The refugees crossed into Croatia, an EU member, from Serbia.

Croatia says it is ready to receive them or “direct” them to where they want to go. Many migrants – mainly Syrian – are hoping to reach Germany.

New border restrictions and a row over allocating migrants have shown bitter divisions in Europe over the crisis.

Hundreds of refugees remain stranded outside or in makeshift tents near the Serbian border with Hungary.

On September 15, Hungary declared a state of emergency in the border area, with hundreds of army and police deployed to enforce new laws making it an offence to breach a razor-wire border fence.Croatia refugee crisis

Police sealed a railway crossing point near Roszke which had been used by tens of thousands of migrants to enter the European border-free Schengen zone.

The move has all but stopped the inflow.

On September 16, Hungarian police said they had detained 367 refugees entering illegally – and the first criminal proceedings have been launched.

The EU’s border agency says more than 500,000 refugees have arrived at the EU’s borders so far this year, compared with 280,000 in 2014.

Many are fleeing conflict and poverty in countries including Syria, where a civil war has been raging since 2011.

The refugees have been crossing from Turkey, with about 1,000 in the city of Edirne on September 16, waiting to organize a crossing into Greece. Their journey would then take them to Macedonia and Serbia.

Until September 15, most poured into Schengen member Hungary and crossed into Austria to reach Germany. Both Germany and Austria have introduced tighter border controls to control the flow.

A group of about 40 refugees arrived in the border town of Sid in Serbia on September 16. They had travelled by bus from the Serbian town of Presevo near the Macedonian border in the south.

They crossed into Croatia where police began registering them.

Croatia’s PM Zoran Milanovic told parliament that authorities were “entirely ready to receive or direct those people where they want to go, which is obviously Germany or Scandinavian countries”.

“They will be able to pass through Croatia and we will help, we’re getting ready for that possibility,” he said.

A meeting of the Croatian National Security Council has been called to co-ordinate the response.

Croatian media have warned of the dangers posed by landmines dating back to Croatia’s war of independence in the early 1990s, even though experts say the areas are clearly marked.

The Serbian minister in charge of the government’s working committee on migrants, Aleksandar Vulin, argued that the closure of the border by Hungary was unsustainable for Serbia.

Hungary has said it could extend its fence to the border with Romania – a possible new route.

Romania said this would violate the “European spirit” of co-operation.

Hungary is bringing in tough new laws to stop the entry of illegal refugees.

Hungarian police can now detain anyone who tries to breach a razor-wire fence built on the border with Serbia.

The country has become a key point on the journey north for thousands of refugees from the Middle East and Africa.

The EU has agreed to relocate 40,000 refugees from Greece and Italy to other EU states, starting on September 15.

However, it failed to agree on mandatory quotas for a further 120,000 asylum seekers.

Instead, at the meeting in Brussels, a majority of ministers agreed “in principle” and negotiations will now take place ahead of another meeting in October.

The new Hungarian laws came into effect at on September 14 at midnight.

Police sealed a railway crossing point that had been used by tens of thousands of refugees, and many slept out in the open on the Serbian side of the border.

Police buses will now take asylum applicants to registration centers, but if their applications are refused they will now be returned to Serbia rather than being given passage through Hungary.

Hungarian authorities said more than 9,000 – a new record – crossed into the country before the border was closed on September 14.

From now on anyone who crosses the border illegally will face criminal charges, and 30 judges have been put on standby to try potential offenders.

The laws also make it a criminal offence – punishable by prison or deportation – to damage the newly-built 13ft-fence along Hungary’s 110 mile border with Serbia.Hungary refugees at border fence

Mounted police have been deployed along the border.

“We will start a new era,” government spokesman Zoltan Kovacs said shortly after midnight.

“We will stop the inflow of illegal migrants over our green borders.”

Zoltan Kovacs added: “That also means that the official and legal ways to come to Hungary and therefore to the European Union remain open. That’s all we ask from all migrants – that they should comply with international and European law.”

At the Brussels talks, Luxembourg, which holds the EU presidency, said it was hoped that the relocation proposal could be made law at a meeting on October 8.

Hungary, the Czech Republic and Slovakia were reportedly among the nations opposed to mandatory quotas.

“There was no consensus, several countries disagreed,” Slovak Interior Minister Robert Kalinak said after the talks.

Luxembourg Foreign Minister Jean Asselborn said “not everyone is on board at the moment”.

He warned the situation in Europe was “urgent and dramatic and time is of the essence”.

Under complex EU rules, a unanimous vote is not required and decisions can be made with a qualified majority.

However, correspondents say that would be a show of disunity that the EU is trying to avoid.

Jean Asselborn said a list of safe countries, to which failed asylum seekers can be returned, had been agreed on principle.

European states have been struggling to cope with a record influx of refugees, who are mainly trying to reach Germany and Sweden.

On September 14, a number of EU countries followed Germany’s suit in introducing temporary border checks.

The moves are a challenge to the EU’s Schengen agreement on free movement, although the rules do allow for temporary controls in emergencies.

Austrian Chancellor Werner Faymann said troops were also being deployed, mainly to provide humanitarian help within Austria, but would be sent to the border if necessary.


Germany will introduce temporary controls on its border with Austria to cope with the influx of refugees, Interior Minister Thomas de Maiziere has announced.

Thomas de Maiziere said refugees could “not choose” their host countries and called on other EU states to do more.

Trains between Germany and Austria have been suspended for 12 hours.

Germany’s vice-chancellor has said his country is “at the limit of its capabilities” as more than 13,000 migrants arrived in Munich on September 12.

Germany expects 800,000 migrants to arrive this year.

Photo EPA

Photo EPA

“The aim of these measures is to limit the current inflows to Germany and to return to orderly procedures when people enter the country,” Thomas de Maiziere told a news conference.

He gave no details. The move goes against the principle of the Schengen zone, which allows free movement between many European countries. However, the agreement does allow for temporary suspensions.

Germany’s rail service Deutsche Bahn said train services with Austria would be stopped until 03:00GMT on September 14.

Many refugees have been refusing to register in countries such as Greece or Hungary, fearing it will stop them being granted asylum in Germany or other EU states.

The city of Munich, in the German state of Bavaria, has taken the brunt of arrivals over the weekend.

Bavarian Premier Horst Seehofer said the controls sent an “important signal”.

Hungary’s PM Viktor Orban, who has taken a tough line on the migrant crisis, told Germany’s Bild newspaper he welcomed the new controls, saying they were “necessary to protect German and European values”.

On September 13, the Czech Republic also said it would boost border controls with Austria.

Europe as a whole is struggling to deal with an enormous influx of people, mostly from Syria but also Afghanistan, Eritrea and other countries, fleeing violence and poverty.

On the same day, Greek coastguards said at least 34 people, including 11 children, drowned when a boat carrying about 100 migrants capsized off the island of Farmakonisi in the southern Aegean Sea.

Earlier on Sunday, Germany’s Vice-Chancellor Sigmar Gabriel, who is also economy minister, warned his country was being stretched to its limits by the new arrivals.

“It is not just a question of the number of migrants, but also the speed at which they are arriving that makes the situation so difficult to handle,” he told the Tagesspiegel newspaper.

Sigmar Gabriel also called on European countries, Gulf states and the US to give billions of euros towards schools, accommodation and food in refugee camps in the Middle East.

A steady stream of refugees is travelling from Greece, through Macedonia, Serbia and Hungary, to Austria and Germany.

Hungary is aiming to complete a 13ft-high fence along the border with Serbia by September 15, when tougher measures, including arresting illegal immigrants, come into force.

The European Commission announced plans last week for mandatory quotas to share out 120,000 additional asylum seekers among 25 member countries.

The Czech Republic, Slovakia, Hungary and Romania are opposed to this.


About 1,000 migrants stuck at Budapest’s Keleti train station for days have set off on foot, saying they intend to walk to the Austrian border.

Hungarian authorities are trying to contain thousands of people desperate to reach Western Europe.

Meanwhile, EU states are struggling to agree a common strategy to deal with the crisis.

The Hungarian, Czech, Slovakian and Polish prime ministers have rejected quotas for EU nations.

In a statement they rejected “any proposal leading to introduction of mandatory and permanent quota for solidarity measures”.Hungary migrants walking to Austrian border

The chaotic scenes in Hungary – a main transit country for those seeking to claim asylum in Germany and other countries in northern and Western Europe – have continued for another day.

Some of the migrants who had been waiting days at Keleti train station grew frustrated with the lack of international trains, and decided to walk to Austria – a distance of 110 miles.

Hungarian police seem to be escorting but not stopping them.

Some of those walking have been holding large photographs of German Chancellor Angela Merkel.

Under EU regulations, anyone wishing to seek asylum must do so in the first EU country they reach.

However, many of those who have arrived in Hungary do not wish to be registered there because it is more likely to send migrants back, and has a relatively small population and economy.

They want to continue on to seek asylum in Germany and other richer countries.

Hungary’s PM Viktor Orban warned on September 4 of “the end of Europe”.

“Today we are talking about tens of thousands but next year we will be talking about millions and this has no end,” Viktor Orban said.

Two migrant boats holding more than 200 people have been rescued in Myanmar’s waters near the border with Bangladesh.

It was the first such rescue by Myanmar which has faced strong criticism for not doing enough to aid those stranded at sea and stem the migrant crisis.

Most are Rohingya Muslims fleeing persecution in Myanmar, while others are economic migrants from Bangladesh.

More than 3,000 migrants have landed in neighboring Malaysia, Thailand and Indonesia, which have offered aid.

Myanmar, also known as Burma, said the migrants were rescued on May 22.Myanmar migrant boat rescue 2015

Photos posted on the information ministry’s Facebook page showed scores of bare-chested men crammed in the hull of at least one boat.

The posts referred to the migrants as “Bengalis” – Myanmar’s term for Rohingya Muslims – and said the boats were in Bangladeshi waters off Myanmar’s Rakhine state, waiting for more to arrive in smaller vessels.

The government has promised humanitarian assistance to those who have suffered at sea, but ministers have stressed that only verified Myanmar citizens will be allowed to stay.

The rescue came after Myanmar officials met Malaysian and Indonesian foreign ministers, and the US Deputy Secretary of State Antony Blinken, on May 21 to discuss the situation.

Malaysia also began searching for migrant boats on May 22, a day after PM Najib Razak announced that they would conduct rescue missions.

Malaysia and Indonesia have agreed to stop towing boats out to sea and will provide temporary shelter to those who have landed. Thailand only said it would stop rejecting boats.