Chaos at Austrian border as Germany tightens controls

Thousands left stranded at train stations in Vienna and Salzburg as Munich mayor Dieter Reiter declares the city to be "full"

Megan Townsend
Thursday 17 September 2015 18:43
Austria: Police prevent refugees reaching platforms at Salzburg train station

There were scenes of chaos this morning as Germany began to enforce stricter controls on its border with Austria, thousands of refugees attempting to board trains to Munich and Berlin were left stranded.

The decision by German officials has led to Austria, Slovakia and the Netherlands to follow suit. Salzburg being one of the main ports of all for those attempting to reach Munich is struggling to cope with the thousands of refugees at the station, setting up temporary shelters in its car parks and handing out food and water to those in need.

The temporary controls have become "a necessary step" according to German interior minister Thomas De Maizière, who insisted though refugees are given priority during the asylum process they cannot "pick and choose" the states they wish to settle.

Austria's border with Hungary has also seen an influx of refugees, many rushing to reach Austria before Hungarian president Viktor Orbán's new controls come into place.

Thousands of people were seen exiting trains at Hegyeshalom station, near Hungary's border with Austria many coming from camps in southern Hungary. Orban had criticised German Chancellor Angela Merkel's decision to open Germany's borders earlier this month saying that they were living in a "dream world" and that the refugees were "not fleeing danger and do not need to fear for their lives"

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