Hungary’s PM Viktor Orban says the migrant crisis facing Europe is a “German problem” since Germany is where those arriving in the EU “would like to go”.
He said Hungary would not allow migrants to leave its territory without registering.
Viktor Orban’s comments came as Hungarian authorities opened Budapest’s main rail station to hundreds of migrants after a two-day stand-off.
One train left, but then stopped near a migrant reception centre.
Migrants resisted efforts by police to get them off the train at Bicske, about 25 miles west of Budapest. Some were banging on the windows and shouting “Germany, Germany”.
EU rules place responsibility for assessing asylum claims on the country where a migrant first arrives.
Many of the migrants currently in Hungary have been refusing to register there, in order to continue their journeys to Germany before seeking asylum.
The migrants stuck at Budapest’s Keleti station were prevented from boarding trains on September 1 and 2. Some were involved in scuffles with police.
They had bought tickets after Hungary briefly appeared to abandon efforts to register migrants on August 31, allowing huge numbers to board trains to Vienna and southern Germany.
After the station opened on September 3, rail staff said international trains were indefinitely suspended, but international tickets would be accepted on internal trains.
The number of migrants entering Europe has reached record levels, with 107,500 arriving in July alone. Germany expects to take in 800,000 migrants this year – four times last year’s total.
The surge in numbers has created tension and disagreement over EU migration policy. Germany has been prepared to accept large numbers of asylum seekers, but other countries have not.
Viktor Orban, who heads the anti-immigrant Fidesz party and was in Brussels for talks, said border control was “the number one issue”.
During a tense press conference with European Parliament President Martin Schulz, PM Viktor Orban said that “nobody would like to stay in Hungary, neither in Slovakia nor Poland nor Estonia”.
“All of them would like to go to Germany,” he said.
“Our job is only to register them.”
Martin Schulz countered: “What we are seeing for the time being is egoism instead of common European sense.
“To say <<yeah, you know we have refugees all over in Europe but they all want to go to Germany and therefore we are not concerned>> is effective, but wrong. And therefore I think we need a fair and just distribution.”
Crowds of migrants have been protesting outside Keleti train station in Hungary’s capital Budapest after police sealed off the terminal to stop them travelling through the EU.
Hundreds of people chanted “Germany” and waved train tickets after being forced to leave Budapest’s Keleti station.
Officials said Hungary was trying to restore order and enforce EU rules.
Austrian police said 3,650 migrants arrived in Vienna from Hungary on August 31, with most heading for Germany.
Hungarian officials had earlier appeared to abandon efforts to register them under EU rules, which mean they should seek asylum in the first EU country they enter.
About 1,000 migrants congregated outside Keleti station, in the east of the city, as it was evacuated on September 1.
It was closed briefly and public announcements said no trains would be leaving.
The station soon reopened to non-migrant passengers, with lines of police preventing migrants from entering the main entrance.
The move came amid chaotic scenes after hundreds of migrants had tried to board services to Austria and Germany.
Some complained that they had paid hundreds of euros for tickets, and called for the station to be reopened so that they could continue their journey.
The number of migrants entering Europe has reached record levels, with 107,500 arriving in July alone.
Germany expects to take in 800,000 migrants this year – four times last year’s total.
Many of the migrants have been waiting at Keleti (East) station for days. Reporters said they are mainly Syrians, Afghans and Eritreans.
Under the EU’s Dublin Regulation, asylum seekers must register in the first EU member state in which they arrive. However, the protocol has been widely abused, as many of those who reached Hungary first arrived in Greece, where they failed to claim asylum.
The Berlin government has already said it is suspending the Dublin rule for Syrians who have travelled to Germany.
Some 1,400 people had arrived in Munich by September 1, after travelling through Austria, and more were due.
German Chancellor Angela Merkel on August 31 called for greater EU co-operation on the issue and implicitly called for other countries to welcome more refugees.
“If Europe fails on the question of refugees, then it won’t be the Europe we wished for,” she said.
The risks for migrants travelling through Europe were highlighted last week by the deaths of 71 people, who were found in a lorry that had travelled to Austria from Budapest.
Most of the dead were thought to be Syrians fleeing the country’s civil war.
Hundreds more people drowned in the Mediterranean last week while trying to reach Europe from Libya.