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UN: Europe warned repeatedly of impending refugee crisis

European countries were warned repeatedly about the refugee crisis now playing out on their doorstep, a senior U.N. official has said.

Ivan Simonovic says European countries were repeatedly warned of the impending crisis. Credit: Reuters

Ivan Simonovic, assistant UN secretary-general for human rights, told reporters that the flood of war-weary desparate people should surprise no one, adding that it would not subside anytime soon.

More than 300,000 people have crossed to Europe by sea so far this year and more than 2,600 have died doing so. Many of those making the voyage are fleeing the civil war in Syria, now in its fifth year.

Migration and refugees are now changing routes. Previously it was the Mediterranean. Now it's going eastward... through the Balkans, through Turkey, Greece, Macedonia, Serbia, Hungary.

This is something which we were warning all the time, You cannot hope to solve this crisis just by closing the door. Those desperate people will go through windows if you close the door.

– Ivan Simonovic

Simonovic added that the vast majority of people abandoning their homelands are refugees and not simply migrants seeking better economic prospects.

Hungary sends buses to migrants walking to Austria

Migrants are walking to Austria from Budapest Credit: Reuters

The Hungarian government is to send buses to migrants to take them to the Austrian border, the Prime Minister's chief of staff has said.

Prime Minister Viktor Orban's chief of staff, Janos Lazar said the government will offer to transport thousands of migrants in the next few hours.

The buses will be sent to Budapest's main railway terminus as 1,200 who are walking along the main westward motorway towards Austria, he told a news conference.

"This does not automatically mean that they can leave the country," he added. "We are waiting for the Austrian government's response."

Lazar said the buses would be sent because Hungarians' "transportation safety can't be put at risk".

He said "a migration crisis is shaking Hungary" and blamed Germany's "contradictory communications" and the European Union's incompetence for the crisis.

ITV News' Georgina Brewer reports cheers from the migrants as news of the buses reached the thousands marching from Budapest to Austria.


Hungary PM: 'Europeans will be minority on own continent'

Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban fears Credit: Reuters

The Hungarian prime minister has said Europeans "could become a minority on their own continent."

Speaking on public radio, Viktor Orban, one of Europe's most outspoken critics of mass immigration, talked about the threat to "Christian values" that the current crisis poses. . "Now we talk about hundreds of thousands but next year we will talk about millions and there is no end to this," he said.

"All of a sudden we will see that we are in a minority in our own continent."


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