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Europe mired in migrant confusion

Saturday, September 19, 2015 - 02:07

Migrants and refugees struggle to reach northern and western Europe as some meet resistance from authorities in Hungary and Slovenia. Paul Chapman reports.

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This train leaving Hungary, packed with migrants, gives a snapshot of European confusion and contradiction in the face of a growing crisis. At least 1, 000 migrants arrived in Hungary by train and bus from Croatia on Friday, watched by Hungarian security forces sworn to keep them out. Now they're being transferred onwards by train, destination unknown, but possibly towards the Austrian border. Others were held at the same station, their train seized by police because authorities said no prior notice was given of its arrival. Croatia denied Hungary's account and that 40 of its police officers escorting the train were disarmed or arrested. Slovenian police used tear gas on migrants trying to cross its border from Croatia. About 500 people crammed into the no-man's land between the two demanding to be let in. Police unleashed the pepper spray as they tried to push past. They were given medical treatment back on the Croatian side but refused to leave the border, hoping they would eventually get through. The flood of migrants into Croatia continued unabated on Friday as more poured in from neighbouring Serbia. About 17, 000 have entered Croatia since Hungary closed its border with Serbia two days before. One doctor working with Medecins Sans Frontieres says the migrants are very determined. (SOUNDBITE)(English) VLADIMIR ANDRIC, SERBIAN DOCTOR WORKING FOR MEDECINS SANS FRONTIERES, SAYING: "Yesterday they were at our northern border and since it got closed and they couldn't go they organised themselves very very fast and they're here, you know." This Croatian fairground now operates as a makeshift refugee camp as the country struggles to cope with the influx. Croatia's government now says it will allow migrants to pass through en route to other countries as most don't want to claim asylum there. The flood of migrants trying to reach wealthier nations in the north and west has wrong-footed the European Union. It has no common policy to deal with the biggest wave of migration to its shores since World War Two.

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Europe mired in migrant confusion

Saturday, September 19, 2015 - 02:07