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It should be noted that, unlike the majority of refugees who don't get past the giant refugee camps in Turkey, a large part of the Afghan, Pakistani, Syrian and Iraqi refugees reaching Europe are middle-class and educated: people who hope to get by with their technical and language knowledge. The brain-drain aspect of migration was the focus of Metatone's Periphery, migration & decline diary, and I fear it will have even stronger long-term effects on those four crisis countries than on Southern Europe and formerly communist EU members.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Tue Sep 1st, 2015 at 03:40:54 AM EST
This morning at 9 o'clock Budapest Keleti was closed off entirely (meaning no trains arrived or left). No meaningful explanation was given.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Tue Sep 1st, 2015 at 04:39:15 AM EST
[ Parent ]
The international press think they have a pretty good idea...

A society committed to the notion that government is always bad will have bad government. And it doesn't have to be that way. — Paul Krugman
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Tue Sep 1st, 2015 at 05:04:40 AM EST
[ Parent ]
By "no meaningful" I meant that the railway issued a press release justifying the closure with police action, while police pushed people out of the station pointing to the closure ordered by the railway...

Indeed it seems the refugees were allowed to leave only for a day (new back-room agreement with Austria and/or Germany?). Now the station reopened, with heavy checks at the entrance, and refugees (and people thought to look like refugees...) are kept out. Especially cruel: until the morning a lot of refugees bought train tickets for big bucks, and now can't use those.

Meanwhile, the Hungarian government continues its hate campaign. One Fidesz leader suggested that the refugees bring Islamic State to Europe (yeah right, formal logic died another death: refugees from the IS bring the IS...)

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.

by DoDo on Tue Sep 1st, 2015 at 06:17:36 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Are there similar controls at Kelenföld?
by gk (gk (gk quattro due due sette @gmail.com)) on Tue Sep 1st, 2015 at 06:25:58 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I haven't read of such controls, nor of a 'transit zone' there, and I haven't seen any refugees there when I boarded a train there two weeks ago. I suspect the reason is that few refugees arriving from the south or east realised that they can change trains there and got off only at the thre terminal stations (there are refugee 'transit zones' at the Budapest Nyugati and Déli, too).

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Tue Sep 1st, 2015 at 06:39:23 AM EST
[ Parent ]
While police declared that no refugees will be allowed to board the trains again, part of the stranded refugees staged a sitting strike. Here are some of their chants, translated by Arab-speakers for Index.hu:

  • Let us leave!
  • We have no problem with Hungarians, we just want to leave!
  • Greetings to the Hungarians!
  • Return our money! [meaning the price of the train tickets they weren't allowed to use]

And in English:

  • Freedom, freedom!
  • UN, help us!

This reminds me of a bizarre aspect of the closing of the station in the morning: the loudspeakers announced the closure in Hungarian only. This although announcements are trilingual (also in English and German) by default, and they found an Arab-speaker yesterday when the refugees were allowed to board.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Tue Sep 1st, 2015 at 03:45:37 PM EST
[ Parent ]


A society committed to the notion that government is always bad will have bad government. And it doesn't have to be that way. — Paul Krugman
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Thu Sep 3rd, 2015 at 04:36:17 AM EST
[ Parent ]
He told that during a joint press conference with Martin Schulz in the EP building. It sounds like a justification for yesterday's attempt to cart off the refugees "for registration" by force, which is strange because that attempt was aborted late in the night. Of course, he didn't explain why not much was done in the weeks prior, then why people were allowed to leave on Monday, then why all they did on Tuesday was to filter out the refugees, and finally why yesterday's forced removal was aborted.

As for today, the refugees stormed a train, resulting in the suspension of all international trains to and from the West. And the bizarre incompetence continues: the station speaker only announced the suspensions in Hungarian and no one informs the refugees (actually, not even the policemen: journalists report they have no clue what's planned either).

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.

by DoDo on Thu Sep 3rd, 2015 at 04:53:57 AM EST
[ Parent ]


A society committed to the notion that government is always bad will have bad government. And it doesn't have to be that way. — Paul Krugman
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Thu Sep 3rd, 2015 at 04:41:21 AM EST
[ Parent ]
So does this just shift all the problems to Györ?
by gk (gk (gk quattro due due sette @gmail.com)) on Thu Sep 3rd, 2015 at 04:53:37 AM EST
[ Parent ]
No, all international trains stop at Hegyeshalom, and the refugees don't even know about that possibility of changing trains. (There is utter chaos, the refugees first stormed a number of international trains going in all directions, including even one for Serbia, until someone told them that that's where they came from.)

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Thu Sep 3rd, 2015 at 04:58:46 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Now the chaos is increasing. A domestic train for border city Sopron was allowed to depart after police removed refugees from only one of the cars. Meanwhile, domestic trains passing through Győr are checked, too.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Thu Sep 3rd, 2015 at 05:46:07 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Here is a picture of the stormed train:



*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.

by DoDo on Thu Sep 3rd, 2015 at 04:55:34 AM EST
[ Parent ]
And here is another picture. Oh the irony!

by Katrin on Thu Sep 3rd, 2015 at 06:41:56 AM EST
[ Parent ]
And the chaos is just getting bigger. The train to Sopron was stopped at Bicske, place of the biggest migrant camp, and police got most of the refugees off the train. But the refugees then refused to be taken to the camp. After a standoff in the underpass, now the refugees are boarding the train, again.

Whatever police, the railway and the government are doing, it is total utter chaos, there is no sign of any central decision-making or foresight. Quite fitting for the Fidesz government, for which exercising power is above all about communication: they hoped to get votes with xenophobia but didn't think there would be need for actual actions and planning. But the ugly thing is: Fidesz voters (not to mention Jobbik voters) will still blame the refugees.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.

by DoDo on Thu Sep 3rd, 2015 at 07:42:03 AM EST
[ Parent ]

by Katrin on Thu Sep 3rd, 2015 at 07:48:13 AM EST
[ Parent ]
This was a single family, and reports of what really happened are confused: apparently, they wanted to leave the station, and some say the husband tried to protect his wife and child when cornered and they feared they will be separated. They were taken away (and separated) like this:

Meanwhile, at Keleti, police again filters passengers boarding the next train, apparently recognising that the fooling of the refugees didn't work.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.

by DoDo on Thu Sep 3rd, 2015 at 08:00:44 AM EST
[ Parent ]
HVG reports that according to civilian interpreters hired by police, in the morning the policemen had them tell the refugees that the trains are leaving for Germany. If so, the stop at Bicske was the goal of everything that happened earlier today, and it was really a pre-planned trick of the dirtiest kind.

There is a second train full of refugees that left Keleti but didn't arrive in Bicske yet; I wonder what will happen there. (The news of what happened with the first train surely reached them.)

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.

by DoDo on Thu Sep 3rd, 2015 at 08:13:52 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Hah, I'm not up to date any more. Said second train already passed Bicske. On-board the train, police separated the c. 100 refugees and the others, but no one knows what's planned.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Thu Sep 3rd, 2015 at 08:18:00 AM EST
[ Parent ]
You can check trains on the map here. The second refugee train (which is between Tatabánya and Komárom) is #9304, the first on the other hand is not shown, indicating that the railway already terminated its path.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Thu Sep 3rd, 2015 at 08:24:54 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Refugees on the second train looking out from the window, at an anti-immigrant government placard:

(The stock photo girl on the placard says: "We don't want illegal immigrants!" The half-covered slogan further down: "The Hungarian reforms are WORKING!")

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.

by DoDo on Thu Sep 3rd, 2015 at 09:07:46 AM EST
[ Parent ]
The second train was stopped at the last station before Győr, and the refugees were guided to buses which took them to the city for registration.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Thu Sep 3rd, 2015 at 09:32:25 AM EST
[ Parent ]
To be precise: police wanted to take the refugees by bus, but the refugees (who heard what happened to the other train) refused to board. A third group made it to Győr and were detained there.

In Bicske, the stand-off continues on the first train. Police apparently wanted to "wear out" the refugees, who stayed in wagons heating up to desert temperatures without basic provisions. But the refugees now have so little trust in police that they even refuse to accept water from them.

Meanwhile, Orbán claimed that an "ever smaller part" of the refugees arrive from war zones. Actually, the opposite is true: the Kosovo emigration ebbed off, now the overwhelming majority comes from war zones.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.

by DoDo on Thu Sep 3rd, 2015 at 01:11:41 PM EST
[ Parent ]
As for that family on the track: now there is a video via Sky News which shows that they were already cornered by police when the husband suddenly pulled his wife down to the tracks, so it seems it really was a protest.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Thu Sep 3rd, 2015 at 08:48:30 AM EST
[ Parent ]
ÖBB information simply replaces Budapest by Kelenföld and claims that the Railjet is running normally from there.
by gk (gk (gk quattro due due sette @gmail.com)) on Thu Sep 3rd, 2015 at 04:57:08 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Not true. Even the railjets from Vienna are being stopped at the border.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Thu Sep 3rd, 2015 at 05:04:39 AM EST
[ Parent ]


A society committed to the notion that government is always bad will have bad government. And it doesn't have to be that way. — Paul Krugman
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Thu Sep 3rd, 2015 at 06:39:12 AM EST
[ Parent ]
The NGO who cares for the "transit zones" is publishing lists of what the refugees need. Yesterday the items included stuff for children, so my sister brought stuff with her children and gave them to one family. Also yesterday the NGO called for a protest at Nyugati station (which I wanted to attend but went home in the last minute due to stomach pains). The occasion is new darkness: right now, parliament is debating a package of law revision proposals which would criminalise several acts relating to illegal border crossing or helping migrants, and would allow police to search homes when looking for illegal immigrants without a search warrant. Jobbik is suddenly speaking about national unity and will support it.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Thu Sep 3rd, 2015 at 08:35:07 AM EST
[ Parent ]
a large part of the Afghan, Pakistani, Syrian and Iraqi refugees reaching Europe are middle-class and educated: people who hope to get by with their technical and language knowledge
A question I'm having is why now? The war in Syria has been going on for 4 years.

A society committed to the notion that government is always bad will have bad government. And it doesn't have to be that way. — Paul Krugman
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Tue Sep 1st, 2015 at 05:10:16 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I read of two reasons: one, the Assad regime is bleeding out and hope of any positive outcome is lost for the secular middle class; two, the situation has worsened in the big refugee camps housing millions in Turkey.

What I did not read any explanation for is the similarly strong up-tick in refugees from Afghanistan and Pakistan. As for what makes it a perfect storm, the third simultaneous wave from Kosovo and the rest of the Balkans itself, methinks the simultaneousness is accidental.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.

by DoDo on Tue Sep 1st, 2015 at 06:21:53 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I'm thinking that there is a snowball effect currently. Everyone who has been contemplating a move to the EU at some future date now has the idea that the EU will soon close its borders for real, and they are all thinking : it's now or never.

It is rightly acknowledged that people of faith have no monopoly of virtue - Queen Elizabeth II
by eurogreen on Tue Sep 1st, 2015 at 08:22:30 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Hopefully they are right but unfortunately some will try to keep Schengen alive a little bit longer.
by fredouil (fredouil@gmailgmailgmail.com) on Tue Sep 1st, 2015 at 08:29:38 AM EST
[ Parent ]
It is not so easy to close borders, fortunately. And once the refugees have crossed the borders they are entitled to protection. I don't expect an abolishment of the Geneva Conventions. As to violations of those conventions: that is a political issue, an issue that needs media attention and protest.
by Katrin on Tue Sep 1st, 2015 at 08:38:25 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Borders can't be closed for real, you can only create more business for smugglers, see US-American border.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Tue Sep 1st, 2015 at 09:09:35 AM EST
[ Parent ]
"two, the situation has worsened in the big refugee camps housing millions in Turkey."

And was never good in Lebanon.

by IM on Tue Sep 1st, 2015 at 09:32:31 AM EST
[ Parent ]
The situation in Iraq got a lot worse. Still Afghanistan and Pakistan is like Syria a bit of a mystery.

Also former Yugoslavia and Albania: Why now? What is really different compared to five years ago?

by IM on Tue Sep 1st, 2015 at 09:30:34 AM EST
[ Parent ]
In the case of Kosovo, there was a relaxation of Serbia's travel rules and a government change in Kosovo itself (a grand coalition of corrution); but there was the snowball effect, too:

Thousands flee economic despair in Kosovo for EU countries, welcome or not - LA Times

But the sudden surge of departures appears to have been motivated by word of mouth. Many would-be migrants say they decided to leave after watching neighbors and relatives depart and having read their Facebook posts about making it to an EU country.


*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Tue Sep 1st, 2015 at 09:40:21 AM EST
[ Parent ]
IM:
Also former Yugoslavia and Albania: Why now? What is really different compared to five years ago?

Perhaps five years of austerity in neighbouring countries killing exports?

by fjallstrom on Tue Sep 1st, 2015 at 02:58:12 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Did that actually happen?
by IM on Tue Sep 1st, 2015 at 04:31:39 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I don't know, it was just a suggestion. Looking at GDP per capita PPP (to get a grasp of economic living conditions) in Albania indicates that it was rising faster pre-crisis, but it is still rising.

Serbia has more marked stagnation:

As have Bosnia:

And Macedonia:

(Data is from the World Bank, graphs from tradingeconomics)

So yes, economies has stagnated in the non-EU balkans during austerity. Wheter from lack of exports, less remittances or home-grown austerity, I don't know.

by fjallstrom on Wed Sep 2nd, 2015 at 10:17:31 AM EST
[ Parent ]
There was a link to Personal remittances, received (% of GDP) so I checked the same countries there. In Albania and Bosnia remittances are a big deal and has gone down from pre crisis numbers of 15% of GDP in Albania and 18% of GDP in Bosnia to 8.5% of GDP in Albania and 11% of GDP in Bosnia.

More or less stable for Serbia and Macedonia.

by fjallstrom on Mon Sep 7th, 2015 at 07:13:33 AM EST
[ Parent ]
ISIS is getting stronger, and promises nothing good to the educated. An extreme case of middle class squeeze.

For comparison, there is this study by an Albanian author, mainly about the migration from Eastern Europe in the 90s:

International Migration, Social Demotion, and Imagined Advancement

Contemporary migration involves a dramatic paradox. Although much of what is considered international or transnational migration today transforms people of a wide range of social standings in the emigration countries into laborers at the bottom social and economic ranks of the immigration countries, millions of individuals worldwide seek to migrate internationally. [The book] argues that this paradox cannot be explained for as long as common preconceptions about immigrants' economic betterment thwart even questioning why individuals who are not threatened by famine or war willingly pursue their demotion abroad. Recognizing immigrants' decline as such, this book proposes viewing contemporary migration as socioglobal mobility. Revolving around an ethnographic study of the Albanian "emigration" in Greece, [the book] finds that imaginaries of the world as a social hierarchy might lie at the roots of much of the contemporary international migration. As would-be emigrants perceive different countries in terms of distinct social stations in a global order, they resolve to put up with numerous social and material deprivations in the hope of advancing internationally. Immigrants are typically thought of as aliens in their de facto home societies, however, and that makes genuine advancement all but impossible.
by das monde on Tue Sep 1st, 2015 at 11:24:50 AM EST
[ Parent ]

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