Migrant crisis in Europe, rallies to support refugees. Tens of thousands of people have taken part in a “day of action” in several European cities – and in Australia.
Europeans March to Welcome Migrants -There have also been counter-demonstrations in some countries. With Germany seen as the promised land by many of those seeking safe haven in Europe, more than 9,000 migrants poured into the Bavarian capital on Saturday alone.
More were expected to arrive overnight, prompting local officials to warn the southern city was being stretched to the limit and would struggle to find beds for all the newcomers.
Europe is struggling to cope with an enormous influx of people, mostly from Syria, who are fleeing violence and poverty in their own countries.
More than 9,000 migrants arrived in Munich on Saturday. Germany expects 40,000 to arrive over the weekend.
Chancellor Angela Merkel defended the decision to let in large numbers of refugees, saying she was “convinced it was right”.
However, she faces growing criticism from her political allies, including the premier of the state of Bavaria, who told Der Spiegel magazine (in German) the situation would soon be beyond control.
Around 4,000 troops are being deployed in Germany for logistical support.
“It’s a solidarity message but the question is, to what extent does this crowd stand for Britain as a whole,” our correspondent said.
“This rally is making clear that the government is wrong in their stance towards refugees,” one of the protesters, Dusan Petkovic, told the AFP news agency.
Cameron had a belated change of heart on letting in more Syrian refugees as the crisis in Europe escalated and last week agreed to take in 20,000 people over five years.
More than 14,000 people claimed asylum in Denmark last year and it expects 20,000 this year. Neighbouring Sweden took in over 80,000 refugees last year and expects the same number this year. IMAGE / Jonathan Nackstrand/Agence France-Presse/Getty Images