Osborne: Britain must offer asylum
Chancellor George Osborne is in Ankara attending the meeting of G20 finance ministers and central bank governors this weekend. He has said that Britain must offer asylum to those genuinely fleeing persecution and that a comprehensive plan across Europe is needed to deal with the situation.
The influx of refugees from countries such as Syria, Iraq and Afghanistan is bad news for potential migrants to Germany from western Balkan countries such as Serbia and Macedonia. Up to 75,000 asylum requests this year by migrants mainly from southeastern Europe are expected to be rejected as Germany speeds up asylum and extradition procedures for those from countries it deems safe. Der Spiegel magazine reported on Saturday that Germany had deported more than 10,000 foreigners so far this year, many of them from the Balkans – about the same number as for the whole of 2014. Germany is expecting up to 800,000 refugees and migrants this year – four times last year’s level.
The Austrian interior minister says some 6,500 refugees have now reached Austria, and about a third of that number are already on their way to Germany.
Emma Graham-Harrison reports from Keleti station that the area seemed almost empty bar a handful of sick, drunk or wary refugees, after the last bus left in the early hours of this morning.
Dawn found a nearby park that had been filled with Afghans — while most Syrians stuck to the station — had emptied out entirely and returned to a tranquil patch of green, with just one group of young men frustrated and worried that they slept through the bus convoy.
At Keleti though the underpasses were already filling up by mid morning, with people too suspicious to board the buses, away from the square when they left or just newly arrived.
“We were sleeping a hotel for one night, after four nights on the street, I had no idea the government would send buses” said Rahman, a 26 year-old Syrian from Aleppo traveling with his wife, sister in law and two nephews. “We just wanted a break, do you know if there will be another coach?” he asked anxiously.
A young Iraqi who had just arrived had not even heard about the coaches. “I just arrived a couple of hours ago, I have no idea about buses” said 20 year-old sajad Al azawi from Baghdad, who wants to be a computer scientist and is heading to Germany.
A handful of those who didn’t go were simply fearful of being processed in Germany because they wanted to join family members elsewhere. “I’m going to London on my own, my brother lives there and you can get a good job, high pay,” said Khan Mohammad, who comes from northern Baghlan province.
But around 11am a purposeful column of a couple of hundred new arrivals stormed through the station and onto the metro, declaring they were heading for Germany. They piled back up the escalators when it emerged they had the wrong train system and on to the mainline platforms where there were no longer warnings that international trains weren’t running.
“We must get to Germany,” said Suleiman, 23 from Gaza.
For More & LIVE UPDATES: http://www.theguardian.com/world/live/2015/sep/05/refugee-crisis-austrians-greet-thousands-off-hungarian-buses-live-updates