Viola Fátyol

2015 summer / Refugee crisis at Keleti Railway Station, Budapest

"Several thousand people are now camped out around Keleti, after the Hungarian government on Tuesday cleared out the station and blocked migrants from travelling on to western Europe. The decision was an about-face: the previous day hundreds of migrants had been allowed on trains to Vienna, leading to furious protests from Austrian officials. The imposing 19th-century ochre building is now a key pressure point in Euroe's ongoing refugee crisis.(...) For now, transit zones have been set up in each of Budapest’s three main railway stations, with toilets, running water and showers. A doctor and a nurse provide rudimentary medical services. Volunteers coordinate supplies of food, water and clean clothes. That rough-and-ready approach worked when a few hundred people were camped out at the station. But the system has been overwhelmed by the new numbers.Despite the health and sanitation risks, authorities have been reluctant to provide any more facilities at Keleti station, as it is not an official shelter and the asylum seekers are not supposed to be there. “The government will not institutionalise an illegal situation,” says Zoltan Kovacs, a government spokesman. Hungarian officials say Europe’s immigration system is broken; the country is constructing a fence along its 175-kilometre border with Serbia, the main route for asylum seekers." (The Economist/Migrants are thronging Budapest's train station)