Hungary’s Prime Minister has rejected proposals to share responsibility for the migration crisis across all of the countries in the European Union.
As his country tries to cope with the influx of migrants trying to cross from Serbia, Viktor Orban said there was no point in discussing quotas until the EU could protect its own borders.
He also called on the EU to establish a fund to help non-EU countries most affected by mass migration, including Turkey.
In an interview with an Austrian TV station, Mr Orban claimed many of the migrants travelling from the Middle East, Africa and Asia were fleeing poverty, but were not genuine refugees in desperate need of asylum.
Which is absolutely, correct. For example one Nigerian refugee when asked by a TV crew why he wanted to go to the UK, said: “I want to go to Stamford Bridge and see Chelsea play. I want to meet Jose Mourinho”. Many others answers were equally ‘non urgent’.
Within the next week, construction crews are expected to finish a 3.5m-high fence along Hungary’s southern border with Serbia to keep further migrants out – and there are fears of dangerous bottlenecks forming in Serbia.
Mr Orban has defended the controversial project, and insisted Hungary is “protecting Europe according to European rules that say borders can be crossed only in certain areas in a controlled way and after registration”.
Meanwhile, the migrants and refugees already in Hungary could face an uphill struggle to continue their journeys further into Europe.
The mass transportation of refugees to Germany is set to stop, after Austria said it would phase out emergency measures designed to help those stranded in Hungary.
However, on Monday morning, controls on the number of people crossing over from Hungary into Austria have not been tightened. Instead, Austrian police are focusing their efforts on suspected people smugglers.
Austria’s Chancellor, Werner Faymann, earlier said: “We have helped more than 12,000 people in an acute situation. Now we have to move step by step away from emergency measures towards normality, in conformity with the law and dignity.”
More than 15,000 migrants arrived in Germany over the weekend, with moving footage emerging from Munich of families being reunited and refugees being cheered as they stepped off trains .
About 2,500 people are expected to come to Germany by early afternoon on Monday, according to officials in Bavaria, Germany’s largest state.
European leaders are set to meet later to discuss how to deal with the biggest movement of people across the continent since World War Two.
Germany said it was putting “no limit” on the number of refugees it would give sanctuary and has announced plans to spend €6bn next year on dealing with the influx.
This seems total madness. These refugees have no ID to speak of. They can’t be traced. This is the biggest security threat to Europe since World War II. Furthermore, once they have been registered in Germany and have papers, they can move freely anywhere in the EU.
Shocking images of three-year-old refugee Aylan Kurdi washed up on a beach in Turkey have contributed to a shift in policy in countries like the UK, where the Government is now preparing to accept 10,000 refugees.
Of course the death of Aylan Kurdi was the direct responsibility of his mother, who started this ill prepared boat journey and didn’t even buy him a life jacket. It may seem harsh, but it is the stark truth. George Osborne has said funds for housing and living costs of the migrants would be channelled from Britain’s £12bn international aid budget, but he warned that action would also have to be taken to deal with the “evil” Assad regime in Syria and Islamic State.
Syria responded at the weekend , accusing the UK of “interference” and a “colonialist” agenda in two letters sent to United Nations chiefs.
But divisions remain across Europe in how to handle a crisis caused by Syrians fleeing their war-torn country.
EU foreign ministers failed to agree practical steps to solve the crisis during a meeting in Luxembourg on Saturday.
In Hungary, refugees are still being herded into camps – with some telling Sky News they are being treated like “criminals” .
Seeing as it is a criminal offence to simply break into a country undocumented, then the treatment seems more than fair. Whilst there are many fleeing war torn countries, the vast majority are simply economic refugees who have spent a great deal of money to cherry pick their ideal countries for a new life.
Now most refugees from other parts of the world are pretending to be from Syria. Hungarian authorities have found hundreds of discarded ID cards from Pakistan, Afghanistan, Nigeria and many other countries.
Thousands of migrants have arrived in the country after travelling through the Balkans and Greece.
Amnesty International’s Barbora Cernusakova said: “While Europe rejoiced in happy images from Austria and Germany on Saturday, refugees crossing into Hungary right now see a very different picture: riot police and a cold hard ground to sleep on.”
Hungary is not alone in providing a lukewarm welcome to the migrants.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has unveiled plans to construct a fence along his country’s border with Jordan to prevent Syrian refugees arriving.
Amnesty International figures show the influx of refugees into Europe pales in comparison to the numbers taken by Lebanon (1.2 million), Jordan (650,000) and Turkey (1.9 million).
In the meantime, Syrians -and the rest- continue to flee in large numbers – some setting sail in dinghies hoping to reach Greek islands such as Lesbos .
More than 2,000 have died at sea so far this year.