Border-free Europe unravels as migrant crisis hits record day

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Germany Imposes Border Controls For Migrants

Two decades of frontier-free travel across Europe unraveled on Monday as countries re-established border controls in the face of an unprecedented influx of migrants, which broke the record for the most arrivals by land in a single day.

Germany's surprise decision to restore border controls on Sunday had a swift domino effect, prompting neighbors to impose checks at their own frontiers as thousands of refugees pressed north and west across the continent while European Union ministers argued in Brussels over how to share the burden.

Austria said it would dispatch its military to help the police carry out checks at the border with Hungary after thousands of migrants crossed on foot overnight, filling up emergency accommodation nearby, including tents at the frontier.

Thousands more raced across the Balkans to enter Hungary before new rules take effect on Tuesday, which Budapest's right-wing government says will bring a halt to the illegal flow of migrants across its territory.

Migrants arriving in Germany:

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Migrants arriving in Germany
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Border-free Europe unravels as migrant crisis hits record day
SCHOENEFELD, GERMANY - SEPTEMBER 13: A policeman touches the window playing with a child while migrants take a bus after arriving on an ICE high-speed train of Deutsche Bahn from Munich near Berlin on September 13, 2015 in Schoenefeld, Germany. In an effort to deal with a weekend influx of over 13,000 migrants in Munich Deutsche Bahn for the first time reserved an ICE train solely for the migrants and asked regular passenger to switch to other trains. Germany is struggling to accommodate tens of thousands of migrants who have arrived in the last few weeks, most of them via the so-called Balkan route through Serbia, Hungary and Austria. Migrants arriving at Schoenefeld are transferred with buses to shelters in Berlin. (Photo by Carsten Koall/Getty Images)
Migrants and refugees arrive at a tent village at the Donnersberg bridge close to the central train station in Munich, Germany, Sunday Sept. 13, 2015 .Hundreds of thousands of Syrian refugees and others are still making their way slowly across Europe, seeking shelter where they can, taking a bus or a train where one is available, walking where it isn't. (Andreas Gebert/dpa via AP)
Refugees are seen after arriving at the main railway station in Dortmund, western Germany, on September 13, 2015. Germany may take in one million refugees this year, up from the record 800,000 arrivals predicted so far, Vice Chancellor Sigmar Gabriel said on September 14, 2015. AFP PHOTO / DPA / MAJA HITIJ +++ GERMANY OUT (Photo credit should read MAJA HITIJ/AFP/Getty Images)
Refugee children wave as they sit in a special train heading to western German town of Dortmund at the main train station in Munich, southern Germany, on September 13, 2015. Thousands of refugees arrived in Germany during the weekend, coming from Hungary and Austria. AFP PHOTO / DPA / SVEN HOPPE +++ GERMANY OUT (Photo credit should read SVEN HOPPE/AFP/Getty Images)
Refugees walk down the stairs after arriving at the main railway station in Dortmund, western Germany, on September 13, 2015. Germany may take in one million refugees this year, up from the record 800,000 arrivals predicted so far, Vice Chancellor Sigmar Gabriel said on September 14, 2015. AFP PHOTO / DPA / MAJA HITIJ +++ GERMANY OUT (Photo credit should read MAJA HITIJ/AFP/Getty Images)
Migrants arrive from Munich at Schoenefeld train station near Berlin, Sunday Sept. 13, 2015. ( Kay Nietfeld/dpa via AP)
Boys play with a ball at a tent village for migrants and refugees at the Donnersberg bridge close to the central train station in Munich, Germany, Sunday Sept. 13, 2015. Hundreds of thousands of Syrian refugees and others are still making their way slowly across Europe, seeking shelter where they can, taking a bus or a train where one is available, walking where it isn't. (Andreas Gebert/dpa via AP)
Migrants wait for a special train for Berlin in the hall of the main train station in Munich, southern Germany, on September 13, 2015. Thousands of refugees arrived in Germany during the weekend, coming from Hungary and Austria. AFP PHOTO / CHRISTOF STACHE (Photo credit should read CHRISTOF STACHE/AFP/Getty Images)
MUNICH, GERMANY - SEPTEMBER 13: Refugees walk to a train bound for Dortmund at the main railway station on September 13, 2015 in Munich, Germany. Hundreds of refugees, mainly from Syria and Iraq, arrive in Germany after Hungary has opened his borders for them to travel for Germany. (Photo by Sebastian Widmann/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)
SCHOENEFELD, GERMANY - SEPTEMBER 13: Migrants leave the trainstation after arriving on an ICE high-speed train of Deutsche Bahn from Munich near Berlin on September 13, 2015 in Schoenefeld, Germany. In an effort to deal with a weekend influx of over 13,000 migrants in Munich Deutsche Bahn for the first time reserved an ICE train solely for the migrants and asked regular passenger to switch to other trains. Germany is struggling to accommodate tens of thousands of migrants who have arrived in the last few weeks, most of them via the so-called Balkan route through Serbia, Hungary and Austria. Migrants arriving at Schoenefeld are transferred with buses to shelters in Berlin. (Photo by Carsten Koall/Getty Images)
SCHOENEFELD, GERMANY - SEPTEMBER 13: Migrants takes a bus after arriving on an ICE high-speed train of Deutsche Bahn from Munich near Berlin on September 13, 2015 in Schoenefeld, Germany. In an effort to deal with a weekend influx of over 13,000 migrants in Munich Deutsche Bahn for the first time reserved an ICE train solely for the migrants and asked regular passenger to switch to other trains. Germany is struggling to accommodate tens of thousands of migrants who have arrived in the last few weeks, most of them via the so-called Balkan route through Serbia, Hungary and Austria. Migrants arriving at Schoenefeld are transferred with buses to shelters in Berlin. (Photo by Carsten Koall/Getty Images)
SCHOENEFELD, GERMANY - SEPTEMBER 13: Migrants takes a bus after arriving on an ICE high-speed train of Deutsche Bahn from Munich near Berlin on September 13, 2015 in Schoenefeld, Germany. In an effort to deal with a weekend influx of over 13,000 migrants in Munich Deutsche Bahn for the first time reserved an ICE train solely for the migrants and asked regular passenger to switch to other trains. Germany is struggling to accommodate tens of thousands of migrants who have arrived in the last few weeks, most of them via the so-called Balkan route through Serbia, Hungary and Austria. Migrants arriving at Schoenefeld are transferred with buses to shelters in Berlin. (Photo by Carsten Koall/Getty Images)
SCHOENEFELD, GERMANY - SEPTEMBER 13: A girl waves holding balloons through the window as migrants take a bus after arriving on an ICE high-speed train of Deutsche Bahn from Munich near Berlin on September 13, 2015 in Schoenefeld, Germany. In an effort to deal with a weekend influx of over 13,000 migrants in Munich Deutsche Bahn for the first time reserved an ICE train solely for the migrants and asked regular passenger to switch to other trains. Germany is struggling to accommodate tens of thousands of migrants who have arrived in the last few weeks, most of them via the so-called Balkan route through Serbia, Hungary and Austria. Migrants arriving at Schoenefeld are transferred with buses to shelters in Berlin. (Photo by Carsten Koall/Getty Images)
MUNICH, GERMANY - SEPTEMBER 13: Migrants arrive by train at Munich Hauptbahnhof railway station on September 13, 2015 in Munich, Germany. German authorities are expecting 10,000 migrants to arrive on trains today, mostly from Hungary via Austria, on top of the approximately 20,000 that have arrived in the last 48 hours. Germany is distributing the migrants across the country and is struggling to register and house them. Many of the migrants are coming from Syria, Afghanistan and Iraq and are reaching western Europe via the Balkans. (Photo by Philipp Guelland/Getty Images)
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By 1400 GMT (10 a.m. EDT) on Monday, police said 7,437 migrants had been recorded entering Hungary from Serbia, beating the previous day's record of 5,809.

Then a line of Hungarian police in helmets blocked off the main informal crossing point. Backed by mounted police and soldiers with a helicopter circling overhead, dozens of officers took up positions on a railway track used by migrants to enter the EU's Schengen zone of border-free travel.

Slovakia said it would now impose controls on its borders with Hungary and Austria. The Netherlands announced it would make spot checks at its borders. Other EU countries, ranging from Sweden to Poland, said they were monitoring the situation to decide whether controls were needed.

"If Germany carries out border controls, Austria must put strengthened border controls in place," Vice Chancellor Reinhold Mitterlehner told a joint news conference with Chancellor Werner Faymann. "We are doing that now."

He and Faymann said the army would be deployed in a supporting role.

"The focus of the support is on humanitarian help," Faymann said. "But it is also, and I would like to emphasize this, on supporting border controls where it is necessary."

Migrants being stopped in Hungary:

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Migrants being stopped in Hungary
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Border-free Europe unravels as migrant crisis hits record day
Migrants struggle to board a train at the railway station in Budapest, Hungary, Thursday, Sept. 3, 2015. Over 150,000 migrants have reached Hungary this year, most coming through the southern border with Serbia, and many apply for asylum but quickly try to leave for richer EU countries.(AP Photo/Frank Augstein)
A young child cries as hundreds of migrants try to board a train at the Keleti Railway Station in Budapest, Hungary, Thursday, Sept. 3, 2015. Over 150,000 migrants have reached Hungary this year, most coming through the southern border with Serbia. Many apply for asylum but quickly try to leave for richer EU countries. (AP Photo/Petr David Josek)
Migrants try to board a train at the railway station in Budapest, Hungary, Thursday, Sept. 3, 2015. Over 150,000 migrants have reached Hungary this year, most coming through the southern border with Serbia, and many apply for asylum but quickly try to leave for richer EU countries.(AP Photo/Frank Augstein)
Migrants try to board a train at the railway station in Budapest, Hungary, Thursday, Sept. 3, 2015. Over 150,000 migrants have reached Hungary this year, most coming through the southern border with Serbia, and many apply for asylum but quickly try to leave for richer EU countries.(AP Photo/Frank Augstein)
Migrants enter the main gate at the railway station in Budapest, Hungary, Thursday, Sept. 3, 2015. Over 150,000 migrants have reached Hungary this year, most coming through the southern border with Serbia, and many apply for asylum but quickly try to leave for richer EU countries.(AP Photo/Frank Augstein)
Migrants wash at a water place in front of the railwaystation in Budapest, Hungary, Thursday, Sept. 3, 2015. Over 150,000 migrants have reached Hungary this year, most coming through the southern border with Serbia, and many apply for asylum but quickly try to leave for richer EU countries.(AP Photo/Frank Augstein)
Supporters and activists of the Migration Aid civil group hold a demonstration in support of migrants at Kossuth Square, in front of the Hungarian Parliament building in Budapest, Hungary, Wednesday, Sept. 2, 2015. Over 150,000 migrants have reached Hungary this year, most coming through the southern border with Serbia. Many apply for asylum but quickly try to leave for richer EU countries. (Noemi Bruzak/MTI via AP)
Hungarian policemen stand guard near to the Hungarian town of Roszke at the border with Serbia, on Wednesday Sept. 2, 2015. The 28-nation European Union has been at odds for months on how to deal with the influx of more than 332,000 migrants this year as Greece, Italy and Hungary have pleaded for more help. (AP Photo/Santi Palacios)
A group of refugees walk on the railway tracks after crossing from Serbia, in Roszke, Hungary, Tuesday, Sept. 1, 2015. Migrants fearful of death at sea in overcrowded and flimsy boats have increasingly turned to using a land route towards Europe through the Western Balkans. (AP Photo/Darko Bandic)
Hundreds of migrants wait in front of the Keleti Railway Station after police stopped them from boarding trains to Germany, Budapest, Hungary, Tuesday, Sept. 1, 2015. (AP Photo/Petr David Josek)
A woman rests in a tent as hundreds of migrants wait near the Keleti Railway Station after police stopped them from boarding trains to Germany, in Budapest, Hungary, Tuesday, Sept. 1, 2015. (AP Photo/Petr David Josek)
BUDAPEST, HUNGARY - SEPTEMBER 01: Migrants gather in the transit zone near Keleti station in central Budapest on September 1, 2015 in Budapest, Hungary. The station was closed today and was said to be an attempt by the Hungarian government to uphold EU law and restore order after recent choatic scenes at the station. According to the Hungarian authorities a record number of migrants from many parts of the Middle East, Africa and Asia crossed the border from Serbia earlier this week, said to be due in part to the erection of a new fence that is due to be completed at the end of this month. Since the beginning of 2015 the number of migrants using the so-called Balkans route has exploded with migrants arriving in Greece from Turkey and then travelling on through Macedonia and Serbia before entering the EU via Hungary. The massive increase, said to be the largest migration of people since World War II, led Hungarian Prime Minister Victor Orban to order Hungary's army to build a steel and barbed wire security barrier along its entire border with Serbia, after more than 100,000 asylum seekers from a variety of countries and war zones entered the country so far this year. (Photo by Matt Cardy/Getty Images)
BUDAPEST, HUNGARY - SEPTEMBER 01: Migrants gather in the transit zone near Keleti station in central Budapest on September 1, 2015 in Budapest, Hungary. The station was closed today and was said to be an attempt by the Hungarian government to uphold EU law and restore order after recent choatic scenes at the station. According to the Hungarian authorities a record number of migrants from many parts of the Middle East, Africa and Asia crossed the border from Serbia earlier this week, said to be due in part to the erection of a new fence that is due to be completed at the end of this month. Since the beginning of 2015 the number of migrants using the so-called Balkans route has exploded with migrants arriving in Greece from Turkey and then travelling on through Macedonia and Serbia before entering the EU via Hungary. The massive increase, said to be the largest migration of people since World War II, led Hungarian Prime Minister Victor Orban to order Hungary's army to build a steel and barbed wire security barrier along its entire border with Serbia, after more than 100,000 asylum seekers from a variety of countries and war zones entered the country so far this year. (Photo by Matt Cardy/Getty Images)
BUDAPEST, HUNGARY - SEPTEMBER 01: Migrants gather in the transit zone at Keleti station in central Budapest on September 1, 2015 in Budapest, Hungary. The station was closed today and was said to be an attempt by the Hungarian government to uphold EU law and restore order after recent choatic scenes at the station. According to the Hungarian authorities a record number of migrants from many parts of the Middle East, Africa and Asia crossed the border from Serbia earlier this week, said to be due in part to the erection of a new fence that is due to be completed at the end of this month. Since the beginning of 2015 the number of migrants using the so-called Balkans route has exploded with migrants arriving in Greece from Turkey and then travelling on through Macedonia and Serbia before entering the EU via Hungary. The massive increase, said to be the largest migration of people since World War II, led Hungarian Prime Minister Victor Orban to order Hungary's army to build a steel and barbed wire security barrier along its entire border with Serbia, after more than 100,000 asylum seekers from a variety of countries and war zones entered the country so far this year. (Photo by Matt Cardy/Getty Images)
BUDAPEST, HUNGARY - SEPTEMBER 01: Migrants gather in the transit zone near Keleti station in central Budapest on September 1, 2015 in Budapest, Hungary. The station was closed today and was said to be an attempt by the Hungarian government to uphold EU law and restore order after recent choatic scenes at the station. According to the Hungarian authorities a record number of migrants from many parts of the Middle East, Africa and Asia crossed the border from Serbia earlier this week, said to be due in part to the erection of a new fence that is due to be completed at the end of this month. Since the beginning of 2015 the number of migrants using the so-called Balkans route has exploded with migrants arriving in Greece from Turkey and then travelling on through Macedonia and Serbia before entering the EU via Hungary. The massive increase, said to be the largest migration of people since World War II, led Hungarian Prime Minister Victor Orban to order Hungary's army to build a steel and barbed wire security barrier along its entire border with Serbia, after more than 100,000 asylum seekers from a variety of countries and war zones entered the country so far this year. (Photo by Matt Cardy/Getty Images)
BUDAPEST, HUNGARY - SEPTEMBER 01: Migrants gather in front of Keleti station in central Budapest on September 1, 2015 in Budapest, Hungary. The station was closed today and was said to be an attempt by the Hungarian government to uphold EU law and restore order after recent choatic scenes at the station. According to the Hungarian authorities a record number of migrants from many parts of the Middle East, Africa and Asia crossed the border from Serbia earlier this week, said to be due in part to the erection of a new fence that is due to be completed at the end of this month. Since the beginning of 2015 the number of migrants using the so-called Balkans route has exploded with migrants arriving in Greece from Turkey and then travelling on through Macedonia and Serbia before entering the EU via Hungary. The massive increase, said to be the largest migration of people since World War II, led Hungarian Prime Minister Victor Orban to order Hungary's army to build a steel and barbed wire security barrier along its entire border with Serbia, after more than 100,000 asylum seekers from a variety of countries and war zones entered the country so far this year. (Photo by Matt Cardy/Getty Images)
BUDAPEST, HUNGARY - SEPTEMBER 01: Migrants gather in the transit zone near Keleti station in central Budapest on September 1, 2015 in Budapest, Hungary. The station was closed today and was said to be an attempt by the Hungarian government to uphold EU law and restore order after recent choatic scenes at the station. According to the Hungarian authorities a record number of migrants from many parts of the Middle East, Africa and Asia crossed the border from Serbia earlier this week, said to be due in part to the erection of a new fence that is due to be completed at the end of this month. Since the beginning of 2015 the number of migrants using the so-called Balkans route has exploded with migrants arriving in Greece from Turkey and then travelling on through Macedonia and Serbia before entering the EU via Hungary. The massive increase, said to be the largest migration of people since World War II, led Hungarian Prime Minister Victor Orban to order Hungary's army to build a steel and barbed wire security barrier along its entire border with Serbia, after more than 100,000 asylum seekers from a variety of countries and war zones entered the country so far this year. (Photo by Matt Cardy/Getty Images)
BUDAPEST, HUNGARY - SEPTEMBER 01: Migrants gather in the transit zone near Keleti station in central Budapest on September 1, 2015 in Budapest, Hungary. The station was closed today and was said to be an attempt by the Hungarian government to uphold EU law and restore order after recent choatic scenes at the station. According to the Hungarian authorities a record number of migrants from many parts of the Middle East, Africa and Asia crossed the border from Serbia earlier this week, said to be due in part to the erection of a new fence that is due to be completed at the end of this month. Since the beginning of 2015 the number of migrants using the so-called Balkans route has exploded with migrants arriving in Greece from Turkey and then travelling on through Macedonia and Serbia before entering the EU via Hungary. The massive increase, said to be the largest migration of people since World War II, led Hungarian Prime Minister Victor Orban to order Hungary's army to build a steel and barbed wire security barrier along its entire border with Serbia, after more than 100,000 asylum seekers from a variety of countries and war zones entered the country so far this year. (Photo by Matt Cardy/Getty Images)
BUDAPEST, HUNGARY - SEPTEMBER 01: A mother carries her infant girl as migrants protest outside Keleti station in central Budapest after it was closed to migrants earlier today on September 1, 2015 in Budapest, Hungary. The closure was said to be an attempt by the Hungarian government to uphold EU law and restore order after recent choatic scenes at the station. According to the Hungarian authorities a record number of migrants from many parts of the Middle East, Africa and Asia crossed the border from Serbia earlier this week, said to be due in part to the erection of a new fence that is due to be completed at the end of this month. Since the beginning of 2015 the number of migrants using the so-called Balkans route has exploded with migrants arriving in Greece from Turkey and then travelling on through Macedonia and Serbia before entering the EU via Hungary. The massive increase, said to be the largest migration of people since World War II, led Hungarian Prime Minister Victor Orban to order Hungary's army to build a steel and barbed wire security barrier along its entire border with Serbia, after more than 100,000 asylum seekers from a variety of countries and war zones entered the country so far this year. (Photo by Matt Cardy/Getty Images)
BUDAPEST, HUNGARY - SEPTEMBER 01: Hungarian police guard the main entrance as migrants protest outside Keleti station in central Budapest after it was closed to migrants earlier today on September 1, 2015 in Budapest, Hungary. The closure was said to be an attempt by the Hungarian government to uphold EU law and restore order after recent choatic scenes at the station. According to the Hungarian authorities a record number of migrants from many parts of the Middle East, Africa and Asia crossed the border from Serbia earlier this week, said to be due in part to the erection of a new fence that is due to be completed at the end of this month. Since the beginning of 2015 the number of migrants using the so-called Balkans route has exploded with migrants arriving in Greece from Turkey and then travelling on through Macedonia and Serbia before entering the EU via Hungary. The massive increase, said to be the largest migration of people since World War II, led Hungarian Prime Minister Victor Orban to order Hungary's army to build a steel and barbed wire security barrier along its entire border with Serbia, after more than 100,000 asylum seekers from a variety of countries and war zones entered the country so far this year. (Photo by Matt Cardy/Getty Images)
BUDAPEST, HUNGARY - SEPTEMBER 01: A young girl holds up a handmade flag of Afghanistan as migrants protest outside Keleti station in central Budapest after it was closed to migrants earlier today on September 1, 2015 in Budapest, Hungary. The closure was said to be an attempt by the Hungarian government to uphold EU law and restore order after recent choatic scenes at the station. According to the Hungarian authorities a record number of migrants from many parts of the Middle East, Africa and Asia crossed the border from Serbia earlier this week, said to be due in part to the erection of a new fence that is due to be completed at the end of this month. Since the beginning of 2015 the number of migrants using the so-called Balkans route has exploded with migrants arriving in Greece from Turkey and then travelling on through Macedonia and Serbia before entering the EU via Hungary. The massive increase, said to be the largest migration of people since World War II, led Hungarian Prime Minister Victor Orban to order Hungary's army to build a steel and barbed wire security barrier along its entire border with Serbia, after more than 100,000 asylum seekers from a variety of countries and war zones entered the country so far this year. (Photo by Matt Cardy/Getty Images)
BUDAPEST, HUNGARY - SEPTEMBER 01: Migrants protest outside Keleti station in central Budapest after it was closed to migrants earlier today on September 1, 2015 in Budapest, Hungary. The closure was said to be an attempt by the Hungarian government to uphold EU law and restore order after recent choatic scenes at the station. According to the Hungarian authorities a record number of migrants from many parts of the Middle East, Africa and Asia crossed the border from Serbia earlier this week, said to be due in part to the erection of a new fence that is due to be completed at the end of this month. Since the beginning of 2015 the number of migrants using the so-called Balkans route has exploded with migrants arriving in Greece from Turkey and then travelling on through Macedonia and Serbia before entering the EU via Hungary. The massive increase, said to be the largest migration of people since World War II, led Hungarian Prime Minister Victor Orban to order Hungary's army to build a steel and barbed wire security barrier along its entire border with Serbia, after more than 100,000 asylum seekers from a variety of countries and war zones entered the country so far this year. (Photo by Matt Cardy/Getty Images)
BUDAPEST, HUNGARY - SEPTEMBER 01: Migrants protest outside Keleti station in central Budapest after it was closed to migrants earlier today on September 1, 2015 in Budapest, Hungary. The closure was said to be an attempt by the Hungarian government to uphold EU law and restore order after recent choatic scenes at the station. According to the Hungarian authorities a record number of migrants from many parts of the Middle East, Africa and Asia crossed the border from Serbia earlier this week, said to be due in part to the erection of a new fence that is due to be completed at the end of this month. Since the beginning of 2015 the number of migrants using the so-called Balkans route has exploded with migrants arriving in Greece from Turkey and then travelling on through Macedonia and Serbia before entering the EU via Hungary. The massive increase, said to be the largest migration of people since World War II, led Hungarian Prime Minister Victor Orban to order Hungary's army to build a steel and barbed wire security barrier along its entire border with Serbia, after more than 100,000 asylum seekers from a variety of countries and war zones entered the country so far this year. (Photo by Matt Cardy/Getty Images)
BUDAPEST, HUNGARY - SEPTEMBER 01: Migrants protest outside Keleti station in central Budapest after it was closed to migrants earlier today on September 1, 2015 in Budapest, Hungary. The closure was said to be an attempt by the Hungarian government to uphold EU law and restore order after recent choatic scenes at the station. According to the Hungarian authorities a record number of migrants from many parts of the Middle East, Africa and Asia crossed the border from Serbia earlier this week, said to be due in part to the erection of a new fence that is due to be completed at the end of this month. Since the beginning of 2015 the number of migrants using the so-called Balkans route has exploded with migrants arriving in Greece from Turkey and then travelling on through Macedonia and Serbia before entering the EU via Hungary. The massive increase, said to be the largest migration of people since World War II, led Hungarian Prime Minister Victor Orban to order Hungary's army to build a steel and barbed wire security barrier along its entire border with Serbia, after more than 100,000 asylum seekers from a variety of countries and war zones entered the country so far this year. (Photo by Matt Cardy/Getty Images)
BUDAPEST, HUNGARY - SEPTEMBER 1: Police forces stand guard when migrants wait at the main Eastern Railway station in Budapest, Hungary, September 1, 2015. Hungary closed Budapest's main Eastern Railway station on Tuesday morning with no trains departing or arriving until further notice, a spokesman for state railway company MAV said. There are hundreds of migrants at the station, trying to get to Germany. (Photo by Arpad Kurucz/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)
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BIGGEST THREAT TO SCHENGEN

Monday's measures were the biggest threat so far to the Schengen system of a border-free Europe, which ranks alongside the euro single currency as one of the transformative achievements of integration on the continent.

Named after a Luxembourg town where it was agreed, Schengen has eliminated frontier posts across the continent since 1995. Twenty-six European countries now issue common visas and leave the borders between them unguarded.

Frontiers which were fought over for centuries and which were a bottleneck for traffic and trade just a few years ago are now marked by little more than signposts on highways across the world's biggest economic bloc.

The rules bar undocumented migrants from travel within the zone but leave few mechanisms to stop them.

That has created chaos as hundreds of thousands of people, including refugees from war in the Middle East, arrive on the bloc's southern and eastern edges and trek to rich countries further north and west.

EU interior ministers held crisis talks, with Germany, France and the bloc's executive Commission trying to overcome opposition from eastern members to a plan to compulsorily relocate 160,000 refugees from Italy, Hungary and Greece.

A draft agreement included strong language on the need for tighter controls of the bloc's external borders, rapid screening of arrivals and deportation of those without valid asylum claims, to help assuage countries concerned that relocating asylum seekers could attract more people.

TRAINS TO AUSTRIAN BORDER

Hungary's hardline right-wing government had warned that new policies due to take effect on Tuesday would halt the flow across its frontier, the main land route the EU. That led to an unprecedented rush to cross before the deadline.

Hungarian authorities did not appear to register migrants who arrived on Monday, transferring them instead by bus to a railway station in the town of Roszke, where police directed them onto special trains to the border with Austria. At least two trains of around 15 carriages departed, and aid workers said several more had left on Sunday.

Soldiers cradled automatic weapons by a metal fence that the government of Prime Minister Viktor Orban says will run the length of the frontier with Serbia by October.

"We heard the Hungarians will close the border on September 15 so we had to hurry fromGreece," 24-year-old engineering student Amer Abudalabi, from the Syrian capital Damascus, said shortly before crossing the border from Serbia.

"We have not slept since Saturday morning... I'm so tired. I won't believe it when we cross into Hungary."

From Tuesday, Hungarian authorities say they will receive and start processing asylum requests at the border with Serbia, and transport many of those who apply to camps elsewhere in the country. Those who refuse to cooperate will be held at the border and possibly expelled, while those who try to cross evading police will face arrest.

Workers fixed razor wire to a train wagon positioned to block the railway line that crosses the border and that has become the main crossing point for migrants.

Orban, one of the loudest critics of immigration he calls a threat to Europe's Christian heritage, drafted hundreds more police officers to the border on Monday, telling them to be humane but "uncompromising".

"You will meet with people who have been deceived. You will be met with temper and aggression," he told them.

In Serbia, buses took migrants from a makeshift camp in the northern town of Kanjiza to around a kilometer from the border. Discarded blankets and shoes littered the area.

In the south, on the border with Macedonia, aid workers said authorities had sped up migration procedures and a train was taking many directly to the Hungarian border, bypassing Belgrade, where a city park previously inundated with migrants was rapidly emptying as they headed for the border.

EMERGENCIES

Schengen countries are permitted to reimpose border checks on a temporary basis in emergencies, and have occasionally done so in the past on security grounds during major sports tournaments or international summits, but not on this scale.

Most of the refugees have been bound for Germany, which announced in August it would suspend EU asylum policy to accept Syrians who arrive elsewhere in the EU, luring more to trek across the bloc.

Austria had shuttled refugees directly on to Germany. But since Berlin announced border controls on Sunday, migrants have walked across the border into Austria from Hungary at the fastest rate yet, without being able to travel onward. An Austrian police spokesman said in the early afternoon that 9,000 people had arrived since midnight, after 14,000 on Sunday.

"The accommodation centers in Nickelsdorf, Parndorf, and in the near surroundings are all full," the police spokesman said, of an area near the main border crossing.

The threat to reimpose border controls has spread beyond the southern and eastern countries along the main migration paths. The Dutch justice ministry said it would impose "mobile controls" in border regions. The Netherlands received 3,000 asylum seekers last week, double the number from a week before.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel has taken a lead, announcing that Europe's biggesteconomy was willing to host hundreds of thousands of refugees and preparing for as many 800,000 asylum requests this year. Her vice chancellor said in a letter to party members seen by Reuters that figure could reach 1 million.

EU Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker has proposed a formula to distribute refugees based on member states' economic strength and population. But eastern European countries such as Poland, Slovakia and Hungary itself strongly oppose quotas, even though Hungary would be one of the three beneficiaries.

French President Francois Hollande, who has joined Merkel in campaigning hard for quotas, called for rapid agreement on control of entrants along the EU's external borders as well.

"In concrete terms that means putting registration centers in Greece, Italy and Hungary," Hollande said. "It must be sorted out today."

(Reporting by Reuters bureaux in Brussels, Warsaw, Belgrade, Berlin, Vienna and Amsterdam; Writing by Peter Graff; Editing by Paul Taylor)

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