Clashes have broken out in Croatia after hundreds of people surged toward the gates of a transit camp providing temporary sanctuary for asylum-seekers who have flooded in since Hungary shut its border last week with Serbia.
Adding to the chaos, those already inside the camp in the eastern village of Opatovac mobbed the gates and demanded to leave, saying they had been assured they would stay only 24 hours before being allowed to continue their efforts to seek sanctuary in Europe. Eventually, riot police regained control, with lines forming for those wanting to enter the camp, while those wanting to leave were waiting for buses to take them to Hungary.
In Athens, refugees camping in the open got a taste of the harsh winter that thousands could be facing in the coming months. Hundreds pleaded for help and shelter from the sudden torrential rainfall. “We have nothing. No water, no food, no shelter. We are living in tents, we need help,” said Mohamed Saber Nazari, a 20-year-old Afghan camping in Victoria Square. “You see all the families living in the rain, with small children. ”
A taxi driver working in the area said he understood what the people were going through. A migrant himself, 45-year-old Adrian Mustafa had walked to Greece from Albania more than 20 years ago. “If you go through what these people are going through, only then will you understand,” he said. “They don’t want to stay here, but they live under bad conditions. When you look into their eyes, you understand their problems.”
Yusuf Abdal Abib, a 22-year-old Afghan living with his family in a small tent in the square, said he was trying to get to Germany but he didn’t have any money. “If I find [money], I’ll go straight to buy a bus ticket. Only then will I be able to leave,” he said. “But now I have nothing.”
In graphics: Refugees in the EU
German authorities ordered the continued closure of a railway route into the country from Austria that tens of thousands of refugees used until it was shut last week.
Germany closed the rail link with Salzburg on 16 September in an attempt to stem the flow of migrants across its border.
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