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Migrant father and son are among thousands trying to make their way across Europe to Germany, Sweden and other destinations.
By The Skanner News
Published: 08 September 2015

Scroll down to follow the leaders discussion from the start and view videos:

BERLIN (AP) — The latest news as countries across Europe cope with the arrival of thousands of migrants and refugees. All times local (CET):

4:55 p.m.

Tensions were being defused at Hungary's southern border with Serbia as Hungarian authorities began busing tired migrants to a nearby registration center.

But there was no end in sight to the crisis. Even as those relieved migrants were taken away, more people could be seen across the border in Serbia approaching Hungary, their gateway into the European Union.

Earlier, people anxious to pass through Hungary who were frustrated at being trapped behind a police line began pushing and police shoved back. One man was hurt in a stampede.


4:30 p.m.

A 22-year-old song mocking neo-Nazis has reached the top of Germany's single charts in response to far-right attacks on migrants in the country.

"Cry for Love" by German punk band Die Aerzte was first released in 1993 at a time when a wave of neo-Nazi violence gripped the country.

A recent surge in far-right attacks amid an influx of refugees to Germany prompted a campaign to promote the song again.

Media control, which counts the number of purchases, download and airplays, says the German-language song, featuring the refrain "your violence is just a silent cry for love" amid more explicit lyrics, is set to reach No. 1 when the charts are formally released Friday.

The band says it will donate all proceeds to help refugees.


4 p.m.

UNICEF says nearly 10,000 migrants crossed the border between Greece and Macedonia at Gevgelija and another 7,720 were registered at the Serbian border town of Presevo from Sept. 1-6. In a statement Tuesday, the U.N. body said most were headed to Serbia and ultimately toward western Europe.

Since June, UNICEF said, more than 64,000 migrants have passed through the Macedonian border and 89,161 have been recorded at the Serb border.


3:45 p.m.

European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker is poised to step up his efforts to get a faster response from the 28 member nations to the migrant crisis. On Wednesday, he will unveil a plan to share more than 120,000 people fleeing conflict zones like Syria.

Germany is pressing for a system of mandatory quotas for each nation. But many eastern European and Baltic nations — former Soviet satellites with little multicultural experience — oppose being told to host these newcomers on their soil.

"Any proposal leading to introduction of mandatory and permanent quotas for solidarity measures would be unacceptable," the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Hungary and Poland said in a joint statement last week.

They have already rejected a previous EU attempt to share 40,000 refugees, only a fraction of what Juncker is seeking now.

2:30 p.m.

Austrian Chancellor Werner Faymann says countries opposed to taking in refugees under an EU-wide quota system should suffer financial penalties.

Faymann says it is "unacceptable that some nations, because they are not personally affected, refuse to work on a joint solution" to the influx of migrants into the EU.

His comments appear to be aimed at countries like Slovakia, Hungary, the Czech Republic and Poland, which oppose accepting refugees under a quota system.

2:30 p.m.

The Dutch government is making an extra 110 million euros ($123 million) available to help fund safe migrant accommodation near Syria.

Junior Security and Justice Minister Klaas Dijkhoff also is appealing for better cooperation in dealing with the surge in people pouring into Europe.

Dijkhoff says that in the short term "the only solution is a fair division of all asylum requests made in the EU according to a binding contribution per member state" — as proposed by German Chancellor Angela Merkel.

In the longer term, the government wants to invest more in migrant centers in North Africa and the Middle East where asylum requests can be processed. He says migrants who try to enter Europe without having their applications dealt with elsewhere should be sent back.


2:30 p.m.

Spanish Deputy Prime Minister Soraya Saenz de Santamaria says Spain will accept the number of refugees which is recommended by the executive arm of the European Union in Brussels.

Saenz de Santamaria made the announcement in a TV interview on the La Sexta channel Tuesday, declining to state a specific number.

The European Commission is expected Wednesday to announce suggested numbers per country for its controversial plan to distribute an additional 120,000 migrants across the 28-nation EU.


2:15 p.m.

U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon's special representative on migration says it's "not enough" for countries like the United States and wealthy Persian Gulf states to give money to help Syrian refugees — they must take them in, too.

Peter Sutherland told reporters in Geneva that Lebanon, Jordan and Turkey have taken in some 4 million Syrian refugees.

Sutherland said: "Buying your way out of this is not satisfactory."

He added that the U.N. refugee agency and other aid groups are vastly underfunded. The UNHCR says it has received only 41 percent of its funding needs for the Syria crisis this year.

Sutherland said: "Proximity doesn't count, capacity does count, and I do say that taking refugees is separate from giving money."


2:15 p.m.

Responding to a call by Pope Francis, the leaders of Poland's Catholic Church said Tuesday the church will do its best to help refugees.

Poland has agreed to take in 2,000 migrants. It has already received another 200 Christians from Syria.

The bishops say, however, that the main task of helping the migrants rests with the political authorities.

In Poznan, in western Poland, people at St. Florian's Catholic parish have collected 24,000 zlotys (5,600 euros; $6,300) to rent an apartment for a migrant family.


2 p.m.

Germany and Sweden are calling for quotas to distribute refugees across all 28 European Union countries.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel says the bloc needs "binding quotas for refugees who have the right to asylum and who are fairly distributed according to strict principles among the member states."

Speaking alongside Sweden's Prime Minister Stefan Lofven, Merkel says the number of refugees "depends on the circumstances and this is why we need an open system" without caps.

She added that "unfortunately we are still far away" from agreeing on such a system.

Germany anticipates some 800,000 migrants this year and is urging others to take in more.

Lofven said that "if people knock on the door who are fleeing from war, terror, rape, then we have to open the door."


1:30 p.m.

Tensions are building at Hungary's southern border with Serbia between migrants and police, with occasional scuffles and one man slightly hurt in a stampede.

Migrants made two attempts Tuesday to break free from a police line at a collection point for migrants in Roszke but were pushed back. Some migrants said it was so bad that they wanted to return across the border to Serbia, but Hungarian police wouldn't let them.

Many had slept outdoors in a field in cold night temperatures, and had hoped to be bused to a registration center.

One Syrian who only gave his first name, Ali, was angry at the treatment by police.

He said: "We've been here for two days and the Hungarian government only brings one bus? We're asking to go back to Serbia and they are not giving us this right. We're asking to go to Budapest and they are not giving us this right. Why? Why?"


12:30 p.m.

Rescue teams in northern Greece are looking for a Syrian refugee who was swept away by racing waters while trying to cross a river into Macedonia.

Police said Tuesday the 22-year-old man and his brother were traveling with a group of Syrian refugees toward the border crossing at Eidomeni. They tried to ford the river Monday to avoid Macedonian border guards.

More than 2,000 refugees and economic migrants wait at Eidomeni every day to be let into Macedonia, from where they continue through Serbia and Hungary to seek asylum in wealthier European countries.

Authorities let the migrants across in small groups, which leads to long delays and tension between police and migrants.


12:15 p.m.

Swedish police say they have detained 14 people in the past week accused of smuggling migrants across a bridge between Denmark and Sweden.

Police spokesman Lars Forstell on Tuesday said those detained were suspected of illegally transporting migrants across the Oresund bridge from Copenhagen, Denmark, to Malmo, Sweden.

It wasn't immediately clear whether the suspects were part of organized smuggling networks or individuals who wanted to help migrants come to Sweden for humanitarian reasons.

The Swedish Migration Agency says about 700 asylum-seekers have arrived in Malmo in the past week, most of them Syrians.

Meanwhile, Danish officials say hundreds of migrants who have arrived in Denmark in recent days are trying to evade authorities there so that they can continue to Sweden.

Under European Union rules they are supposed to apply for asylum in the first EU country they enter.

Sweden is widely considered among the most welcoming countries toward asylum-seekers. Germany was the only EU country that gave shelter to more refugees last year.


11:50 a.m.

Germany expects some 800,000 migrants this year, but Vice Chancellor Sigmar Gabriel said it is prepared for more in the longer term.

"I believe we could certainly deal with something in the order of a half-milllion for a few years," he said Monday night in an interview with Germany's public ZDF television.

"I have no doubt about it — maybe even more."


10:30 a.m.

Greece's coast guard says its patrol vessels picked up nearly 500 migrants in 11 search and rescue missions over the past 24 hours in the eastern Aegean Sea. The people, whose nationalities were not immediately clear, were found in small boats near the islands of Lesbos — which accounts for nearly one in two migrant arrivals in Greece — Samos, Kos and the islet of Agathonissi.

More than 15,000 refugees and migrants are stranded on Lesbos, awaiting screening before they can board a ferry to the Greek mainland — from where they head north through Macedonia, Serbia and Hungary to seek asylum in more prosperous European countries.

A ferry carrying some 2,500 migrants from Lesbos is due in Athens later Tuesday.

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