Thousands of refugees in exodus towards Europe

Hungarian army starts exercises to prepare for a possible role in guarding southern border in attempt to stem influx of refugees

10 September 2015, 9:01am
Thousands of weary refugees continued their voyage towards Europe as they recounted their desperate stories of survival while European Union leaders ramped up the debate about how many people each member state should take in.

On Hungary's border with Serbia, fear and fatigue have overcome many of the refugees, as Budapest prepared to deploy its military to bolster its southern border and stop people from crossing.

The landlocked central European country is also building a fence to keep the refugees out, but it did not stop hundreds of refugees from scaling the fences and making their way into the country on Wednesday.

Hungary's far right government plans to send soldiers to help police at the border where thousands of refugees arrive from Serbia every day. Authorities have been told to expect 40,000 more refugees by next week.

Many of them are fleeing conflicts in countries like Syria and Libya and are trying to travel through Hungary to Germany, Austria and Sweden - wealthier EU nations with more liberal asylum laws.

Further north in Denmark, authorities have suspended all train services with Germany, after more than 200 refugees refused to disembark from three trains because they did not want to be registered in Denmark.

Refugees have demanded to move northward to Sweden instead.

They were later taken away by volunteers who took them in their cars to their destination, while some refugees tried to reach Sweden on foot along the highway at the Danish-German border.

Danish police later closed the highway.

Sweden has promised to issue residency papers to all Syrian refugees and is a preferred destination for thousands of them fleeing the civil war back home.

Back in Strasbourg, European Union Commission members are set for a battle over how to deal with the influx of people fleeing war, hunger and persecution.

European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker has set out his plan for how many refugees he wants each nation to take. But it is far from clear whether they will agree.

Juncker is calling on member states to agree to provide homes for 160,000 refugees by next year.

But critics say it would not be enough, and Junker himself warned that 500,000 refugees have entered Europe this year, mainly from Syria and Libya.