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Immigration: Budapest’s Keleti Station Reopened After Temporary Closure As 1000 Migrants Raid Austria-Bound Train

Ferenc Sullivan 2015.09.01.

Budapest’s Keleti railway station was reopened to traffic shortly after 10 am today after a temporary closure to prevent around a thousand  frantic migrants from boarding Austria-bound trains, a spokesman for the country’s national railway company said on the state all-news channel M1.

The station was closed down to traffic for around an hour at 9:09 am on Tuesday and the Vienna-bound Railjet train, scheduled to depart at 9:49 am, was delayed due to the closure. Even after the station was reopened, asylum-seekers were not allowed by officials to board trains running to the Austrian capital and Munich. Train traffic is expected to return to regular schedules only by the early hours of the morning and severe delays and cancellations can be expected until then, the spokesman said.

The temporary closure saw train arrivals and departures to and from the Keleti railway station being cancelled until further provisions are made. Steps leading to the station from the underpass were blocked off and passengers weren requested to leave the building. Around 10 am, there were tumultuous scenes and even fights among the crowd as some one thousand migrants were waiting for a connection to Western Europe at the Keleti railway station, the surroundings of which have been packed with westbound migrants sleeping rough, for several weeks.

Speaking on Tuesday, cabinet chief János Lázár warned that both Europe and Hungary have to prepare for the millions of migrants expected to begin their journey to Europe during the coming period. Therefore, “long-term and lasting measures have to be taken”, he said at a joint meeting of Parliament’s national security, defence and policing committees. Mr. Lázár blamed the European Commission’s “left-wing policies”, under which anyone is allowed to enter the EU, for the failure to keep the situation under control. “The EU is the problem itself and is unable to protect is own borders”, he claimed.

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photo: István Huszti/