As European Union officials presented a proposal Wednesday to deal with the record influx of refugees within its borders, police in Hungary and Denmark provided a muddled response by confronting, detaining and, in some cases, doing nothing. The refugees, who are fleeing conflict and repression in states including Syria, Afghanistan and Iraq, were trying to push forward to Western Europe, where they hope to seek asylum.
Just hours earlier, refugees broke through police lines Tuesday evening at the Roszke reception center in southern Hungary, according to CNN. Police later stopped part of the group, which CNN reported would be taken to another area. Refugees continued arriving Wednesday in Hungary, waiting to be taken to the reception center. International Business Times reporter Erin Banco captured photos of large crowds of refugees waiting in Budapest.
Early Wednesday, hundreds of refugees crossed into Hungary from Serbia, bypassing border guards, according to Reuters. Police did little to stop the refugees, and few of them accepted police offers to go to a newly established reception center near Roszke, over fears of being stuck in bureaucratic limbo or being forced to stop their journeys all together.
Trains leaving from Budapest headed to Munich and Vienna. Others to transit zone outside of city pic.twitter.com/NQWEk8PsVo
— Erin Banco (@ErinBanco) September 9, 2015
The Hungarian government has argued it is trying to abide by EU rules by requiring refugees to register in the first EU member country they enter. “We want to help them, to take them to be registered, but none of them realize we’re here to help,” a Hungarian policeman told Reuters.
Human rights advocates have criticized the holding conditions in Roszke and the treatment of refugees. On Tuesday, the Hungarian camerawoman who was caught on video tripping and kicking migrants trying to break through police lines was fired from her job at N1TV, according to reports.
Kids just passed out from exhaustion everywhere at Hungary border, remember AylanKurdi still? pic.twitter.com/6SraSZChxg
— Peter Bouckaert (@bouckap) September 9, 2015
In Denmark, meanwhile, authorities halted train service from Germany Wednesday after police stopped hundreds of refugees. Police reported that approximately 100 people refused to leave a stopped train and undergo registration in Denmark. The refugees were hoping to make it to other northern European countries, chiefly Sweden.
Police in Denmark also shut down part of a highway as a group who entered the country from Germany tried to continue onward to Sweden, according to the Associated Press. In another case, the AP reported that police caught as many as 35 refugees who had tried to flee from a ferry terminal.
Refugees break through Danish police lines near Kliplen and keep walking towards Sweden by highway. Keleti redux. pic.twitter.com/pGxtjVTC21
— Anemona Hartocollis (@anemonanyc) September 9, 2015
Refugees also clashed with riot police and coast guards in Greece Monday evening while attempting to board boats to leave the overcrowded island of Lesbos. Greek authorities told the AP that they had screened 17,000 refugees who had been kept in poor conditions on the island with most now moving onward to the mainland.
European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker presented a proposal Wednesday that called for the 28-member union to distribute 160,000 refugees across states in order to more evenly share the financial burden. The United Nations has continued its call for additional funding of $30.5 million to help with the crisis.