Vienna: Austria and Germany threw open their borders to thousands of exhausted migrants on Saturday, bussed to the Hungarian border by a right-wing government that had tried to stop them but was overwhelmed by the sheer numbers reaching Europe’s frontiers.
Left to walk the last yards into Austria, rain-soaked migrants, many of them refugees from Syria`s civil war, were whisked by train and shuttle bus to Vienna, where many said they were resolved to continue on to Germany.
German police later said the first 450 of up to 10,000 migrants expected on Saturday had arrived on a special train in Munich from Austria. Police in Austria said many thousands would pass through during the day, highlighting the continent’s worst refugee crisis since the Yugoslav wars of the 1990s.
“It was just such a horrible situation in Hungary,” said Omar, arriving in Vienna with his family and hundreds of other migrants who poured out onto a fenced-off platform and were handed food, drinks and other supplies.
In Budapest, almost emptied of migrants by nightfall on Friday, the main railway station was again filling up with newly arrived migrants but trains to western Europe remained cancelled. So hundreds set off by foot, saying they would walk to the Austrian border like others had tried on Friday.