Serbia/Hungary

I late august I spent some time in Serbia. The situation of the migrants is very different to three years ago when I spent time in the Jungle in Subotica. Besides that the number of migrants has increased a lot, now they have a three-day-visa to stay in Serbia, which means they are no longer illegally in the country and it allows them to travel with public transportation, go shopping, and be seen in public generally. Crossing the borders and staying in camps there is still a big difference between Syrian refugees and those from other countries. The Syrians move quiet fast, they use a railway track to walk into Hungary, and some use the opportunity to rest a few hours in the official camps. The Afghan, Pakistani and Kurds for example are afraid of being registered because this might lead to deportation later. So a lot of them still stay in the Jungle and cross borders with the help of people smugglers.
On my way back to Germany I saw a lot of migrants I met in Serbia at the Keleti station in Budapest. They got stuck because the station was closed for them. There were demonstrations going on. You could here “Angela!” and “Germany!” choruses. Since our last ecounter only a few days earlier the mood of the migrants I met before had changed a lot. In Serbia a lot of them were very optimistic. But having spent some days in the Hungarian border camp – some of them even without food – and being stuck in Budapest has washed away their optimism.