25,000 refugees stranded on Greek island of Lesbos

The migration crisis persists as Greece is overwhelmed and hundreds break through police lines in Hungary.

Refugees were blocked in Budapest's Keleti train station last week
Refugees were blocked in Budapest's Keleti train station last week

The Greek government and the UN refugee agency have brought in extra staff and ships to deal with some 25,000 stranded refugees on the island of Lesbos, the BBC reports.

Speaking on Monday, a Greek Migration Minister Yiannis Mouzalas said that Lesbos was "on the verge of an explosion" and a processing centre has been set up on an abandoned football ground to help the asylum seekers get to Athens.

On Monday, officials said that the processing centre on Lesbos would operate around the clock for five days, but that same night, about a dozen coastguards and riot police armed with batons struggled to control some 2,500 people surging towards one such ship, reported AFP news agency.

Hundreds of refugees broke through police lines on Hungary's border with Serbia and started walking towards the Hungarian capital, Budapest in the hope to travel to Germany and claim asylum. About 300 of these refugees were later seen walking the wrong way along a motorway, escorted by police officers, after having given up on their long journey. Many agreed to be taken by bus to another reception centre.

Scuffles had erupted at a cornfield in Roszke where a poorly equipped holding centre has been set up and stones were thrown at officers, who responded with pepper spray.

The BBC adds that queues100m long of refugees were waiting to pass from Macedonia into Serbia.

Hungarian Defence Minister Csaba Hende resigned on Monday, in a move media say was clearly related to problems with the construction of a border fence meant to keep refugees out but which has so far proved ineffective.

Hungary had previously blocked those heading north, insisting they be registered there first as required under EU rules, but it dropped restrictions on Friday after struggling to cope with thousands camping in Budapest.

About 20,000 refugees made their way from Hungary into Austria and Germany over the weekend, and German Chancellor Angela Merkel has warned that the "breathtaking" flow of refugees into Germany will change the country in the coming years.

Germany, expects some 800,000 asylum requests this year, and it has pushed for other EU states to help shoulder the burden, but the crisis has divided member states.

Merkel thanked volunteers who had welcomed those arriving over the weekend, saying they had "painted a picture of Germany which can make us proud of our country".

Facing criticism at home for the country’s willingness to accept such vast numbers of asylum seekers, Merkel said that although Germany was "a country willing to take people in", it was "time for the European Union to pull its weight".

Last night, British Prime Minister David Cameron also told MPs that the UK would accept up to 20,000 refugees from war-torn Syria over the next five years, following a significant shift in public opinion towards solidarity.

An estimated 340,000 asylum seekers have arrived in Europe so far this year, with most braving dangerous sea voyages from North Africa and Turkey.

French President Francois Hollande has also backed Germany’s call and stressed that mandatory quotas were being drawn up to relocate 120,000 refugees across the EU, with France taking some 24,000.

Hungary, along with the Czech Republic, Slovakia and Romania, has rejected the idea of official quotas.