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Austria: Refugees get some rest after they finally reach Austrian shelter01:27

Austria: Refugees get some rest after they finally reach Austrian shelter

Austria, Nickelsdorf
September 5, 2015 at 10:31 GMT +00:00 · Published

After finally crossing the Austrian-Hungarian border, the first group of exhausted refugees reached a shelter in Nickelsdorf, on Saturday, following a gruelling journey from Budapest. The shelter, which was originally built to host a music festival, is one of several in Austria being run by the Red Cross with the help of the Bundeswehr (Army), social workers and local volunteers. The shelter is expecting the arrival of 2,000 more refugees later in the day.

Thomas Horvath, a spokesperson for the Red Cross, said that the shelter "is prepared to take care of up to 1,000 people; providing them with food, drinks and basic health care needs." Mohammed Gais, an asylum seeker who was among the first to reach the centre, praised the Austrians saying “they treat us much, much better” than in Hungary.

Thousands of refugees set-off on foot from Budapest on Friday evening, after being refused access to westbound Hungarian trains. The group walked for hours before a convoy of buses, sent by the Hungarian government, took the refugees to the Austrian border.

Hungarian authorities had taken radical measures in early September to deal with the unprecedented numbers of people crossing their borders, many without documentation. Firstly, they closed the main station, shutting off access to trains leading to Austria, Germany and other European destinations. This led to a temporary encampment being set up around Keleti station, housing around 3,000 refugees. When the station re-opened, many boarded trains that were destined for processing and detention camps, not other countries as they thought.

Both Austria and Germany have agreed to accept the refugees coming from Hungary. "In light of the emergency situation on the Hungarian border today, and in this case, Austria and Germany have approved the continuation of the refugees' journey into their countries," Austrian Chancellor Werner Faymann said on Facebook earlier on Saturday morning.

Austria: Refugees get some rest after they finally reach Austrian shelter01:27
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After finally crossing the Austrian-Hungarian border, the first group of exhausted refugees reached a shelter in Nickelsdorf, on Saturday, following a gruelling journey from Budapest. The shelter, which was originally built to host a music festival, is one of several in Austria being run by the Red Cross with the help of the Bundeswehr (Army), social workers and local volunteers. The shelter is expecting the arrival of 2,000 more refugees later in the day.

Thomas Horvath, a spokesperson for the Red Cross, said that the shelter "is prepared to take care of up to 1,000 people; providing them with food, drinks and basic health care needs." Mohammed Gais, an asylum seeker who was among the first to reach the centre, praised the Austrians saying “they treat us much, much better” than in Hungary.

Thousands of refugees set-off on foot from Budapest on Friday evening, after being refused access to westbound Hungarian trains. The group walked for hours before a convoy of buses, sent by the Hungarian government, took the refugees to the Austrian border.

Hungarian authorities had taken radical measures in early September to deal with the unprecedented numbers of people crossing their borders, many without documentation. Firstly, they closed the main station, shutting off access to trains leading to Austria, Germany and other European destinations. This led to a temporary encampment being set up around Keleti station, housing around 3,000 refugees. When the station re-opened, many boarded trains that were destined for processing and detention camps, not other countries as they thought.

Both Austria and Germany have agreed to accept the refugees coming from Hungary. "In light of the emergency situation on the Hungarian border today, and in this case, Austria and Germany have approved the continuation of the refugees' journey into their countries," Austrian Chancellor Werner Faymann said on Facebook earlier on Saturday morning.

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