Thousands trekking to Vienna from Hungary.
BY GEORGE JAHN
AP Photo/Ronald Zak
BUY AP PHOTO REPRINTS
VIENNA (AP) — Desperate to head west even after Austria cut the number of border trains, a trickle of migrants marching toward Vienna swelled into a torrent Friday as thousands made their way toward the city on foot.
But the Austrian capital has only been a transit point for many of those arriving over the past week. Most have gone on to Germany, which saw its efforts to get fellow European Union nations to help share the burden firmly rejected Friday by four Central European nations.
German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier had urged fellow EU nations to give more help to those seeking safety in Europe, describing the influx as “probably the biggest challenge for the European Union in its history.”
“No single country can resolve such a challenge alone – we need European solidarity,” he told reporters in the Czech capital of Prague.
Despite his warning, he failed to persuade his Czech, Slovak, Polish and Hungarian counterparts to drop their objections to a proposed EU-wide quota system to help migrants already in the EU’s most overburdened nations. Steinmeier then left a joint news conference early, allegedly due to a busy schedule.
Germany has already seen 450,000 migrants enter the country and is expecting at least 800,000 this year, the most in Europe.
“We need to have control over how many (migrants) we are capable of accepting,” said Czech Foreign Minister Lubomir Zaoralek, who hosted the meeting.
The plan to share 120,000 refugees now in Greece, Italy and Hungary among the EU’s 28 nations was unveiled Wednesday by European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker and will be debated Oct. 8 during an emergency EU interior ministers’ meeting. An earlier plan to share 40,000 other asylum-seekers among EU nations is expected to get the ministers’ final approval on Monday.