06:09 GMT +321 January 2019
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    A girl drinks some juice after she arrived with other refugees at the train station of the southern German border town Passau, Tuesday, Sept. 15, 2015.

    Europe Shamed as it Continues to Make a Fool of Itself Over Refugee Crisis

    © AP Photo / Markus Schreiber
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    Major Migrant Crisis in Europe (1819)

    The numbers speak for themselves; the desperation is clear on their faces. The scale of the refugee crisis in Europe continues to dominate media attention across the world with videos and photographs reminding people on a daily basis of the problem Europe has so far failed to solve.

    More than 430,000 refugees and migrants have fled to Europe over the last nine months, according to figures obtained by the International Organization for Migration.

    Hungary has declared a state of emergency in two of its counties bordering Serbia, and ultimately paving the way for military support to be given to border police.

    Meanwhile, refugees are lying on the road on hunger strike at the main Hungary-Serbia border.

    The Eastern European country has also introduced new legislation giving police more powers to arrest anyone illegally arriving through its border with Serbia and has announced intentions to extend the fence across its border with Romania too.

    Migrants pass under a highway security fence as they try to find a new way to enter Hungary after Hungarian police sealed the border with Serbia near the village of Horgos, Serbia, September 14, 2015
    © REUTERS / Marko Djurica
    Migrants pass under a highway security fence as they try to find a new way to enter Hungary after Hungarian police sealed the border with Serbia near the village of Horgos, Serbia, September 14, 2015

    The Hungarian government has received mass condemnation from other European Union members for imposing such harsh measures, aimed at stopping migrants and refugees from entering its territory.  

    However, Budapest defiantly insists that it has the right to secure its borders. A decision was made on Tuesday that anyone found climbing a razor fence will be arrested and jailed for three years.

    Government spokesman Zoltan Kovacs said:

    "We are going to have a new set of rules here in Hungary, concerning the natural borders of the country. We are going to close the natural borders to stop illegal border crossings."

    The UK has agreed to re-house a total of 20,000 Syrian refugees who are already living in refugee camps — however, not on European soil. Meanwhile, Hungary claims that up to 10,000 refugees could be crossing its borders each day.

    And while Hungary receives widespread criticism for its approach to the crisis, Europe has also been accused of looking like a "fool".

    Addressing the failure by the EU to agree on a quota program aimed at redistributing 160,000 refugees among member states, German vice chancellor Sigmar Gabriel said:

    "Europe made a fool of itself again yesterday."

    Greece alone has seen a 750 percent increase in the numbers of asylum seekers and refugees on its shores, with 160,000 currently seeking refuge and official asylum documents. Even if EU member states did agree to a quota system — there would still be a deficit of around 150,000 destitute refugees.

    David Miliband, the former UK foreign secretary and current president of the International Rescue Committee, said Britain should be part of the EU program to redistribute refugees around Europe and believes Hungary's approach to build a fence is:

    "Misguided and shameful."

    And while hundreds of thousands of migrants arrive in Europe — the response by Britain's Prime Minister David Cameron has also been described as "shameful", according to former Liberal Democrat leader Lord Ashdown. 

    Cameron might have agreed to resettle 20,000 Syrians, however thousands of refugees are being held back by reinforced fencing sent to Calais by Britain to keep people out.

    Major Migrant Crisis in Europe (1819)


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    migrant quota, refugee crisis, humanitarian crisis, conflict, war, criticism, migrants, The Syrian war, Hungarian Foreign Ministry, European Union, Zoltan Kovacs, David Cameron, Sigmar Gabriel, David Miliband, Europe
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