Europeans risk becoming a minority on their own continent, Hungary's right-wing prime minister said on Friday, defending his country's hardline stand on migrants after hundreds spent the night stranded on a train surrounded by police.
He spoke as hundreds of migrants, many of them refugees from the Syrian war, woke after a night on a packed train stranded at a railway station west of Budapest, refusing to go to a nearby camp to process asylum seekers.
"The reality is that Europe is threatened by a mass inflow of people, many tens of millions of people could come to Europe," Viktor Orban told public radio in a regular interview.
"Now we talk about hundreds of thousands but next year we will talk about millions and there is no end to this," he said.
"All of a sudden we will see that we are in minority in our own continent."
Shouts of "No camp, freedom!" broke out; Using shaving foam, they wrote on the side of the train: "No camp. No Hungary. Freedom train."
The migrants had wrestled with police on Thursday, some throwing themselves on the tracks insisting they be allowed to remain on the train bound for a border town near Austria.
The train had left Budapest on Thursday morning after a two-day standoff at the city's main railway station as police barred entry to some 2,000 migrants. Hungary says they must be registered, as per European Union rules, but many refuse, fearing they will be sent back to Hungary if caught later in western and northern Europe.
Hungary has hit out at Germany, the most popular destination among the migrants, for saying it would accept asylum requests from Syria regardless of where they entered the EU.
Parliament in Budapest is expected to endorse on Friday a raft of measures to effectively seal Hungary's southern border with Serbia to migrants, creating holding zones on the frontier where migrants will be held while their papers are processed and potentially sent back into Serbia.
"Hungary cannot ignore Schengen rules in its procedures," said Orban, referring to Europe's zone of passport-free travel.
"Migrants must cooperate with Hungarian authorities, with the German authorities and if Germany wants to admit Syrians, it should issue permission for them to go into Germany."
Orban said the new measures being debated by parliament would be implemented from Sept. 15.
"Everyone should be prepared for this: Serbia, Macedonia, the immigrants, the human traffickers. We ourselves will prepare for this, and a different era will start from Sept 15."