Huge influx of migrants to reach the Hungarian border

Author: MTI Original title: Óriási migránshullám tart a magyar határ felé
Publication: ATV Date: 11:24 07/09/2015

Huge influx of migrants to reach the Hungarian border

More than five thousand migrants arrived in Serbia from Macedonia since the early morning hours on Monday, and a new wave of migrants is expected in the coming days at the Macedonian-Serbian border, according to the correspondent of the Hungarian public media in Presevo.

This is one of the largest influx of refugees so far, never have so many arrived in the West-Balkan state within just a few hours. The peak so far was on 23 August, when over seven thousand migrants crossed the border from Macedonia to Serbia, while the influx of Monday will probably far exceed that number.

Currently about two thousand of them are waiting in Presevo in front of the local reception centre, to be registered and to receive the 72-hour transit permit. The camp in Miratovac, established 8 kilometres from the South-Serbian town situated in the border area, was almost completely empty by this morning. The migrants who left the camp are presumed to be on their way to the Serbian-Hungarian border.

Locals reported that certain private bus companies are willing to transport migrants without legal documents or registration to Belgrade or to the Hungarian border. Every day, dozens of buses crammed with migrants leave from Belgrade towards Subotica, Kanjiža and Horgos, towns close to the Hungarian border.

Migrants arriving from Syria say that it took them about 8-9 days to reach Southern Serbia. The same route took weeks or months until just a few months ago, but crossing the countries between Syria and Serbia has become much smoother and faster.

According to Gignac Emmanuel, the Presevo representative of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (HCR), another huge wave of migrants can be expected in the days to come, since five thousand migrants were waiting at the Greek-Macedonian border in the small hours of Sunday, another five thousand were on their way to the Greek-Macedonian border, while 5 thousand were already headed towards Serbia, and new groups of several thousand people could also be expected.

According to official statistics, over 120,000 migrants have crossed Serbia so far this year. Serbian Minister for social affairs, Aleksandar Vulin went on Serbian public television on Monday morning, stressing again that the migrants (sic) do not want to stay in Serbia, but their goal is to reach the European Union as quickly as possible.

The food supply, however, is drying up in the reception centres, and Serbia needs help. Even despite the border closures, 15,000 people have reached their destination, which according to the Minister clearly proves that closing the border is not an effective solution to manage the refugee crisis.

The migrants first go from Greece to Macedonia, where they can stay for up to 72 hours before moving on to Serbia, where they also have 72 hours to leave. Within that time, they have to travel from Presevo to the Serbian capital, then to the towns close to the Hungarian border, to then try and cross the green border from there. It takes about 8-9 hours to reach the Hungarian border from Presevo by car, and a few hours longer by bus, which is currently the most common mode of transport for the migrants.

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