Anti-migrants protests throughout Europe

  • 13/09/2015
Protesters from far right organisations walk against refugees in Warsaw, Poland (Reuters)
Protesters from far right organisations walk against refugees in Warsaw, Poland (Reuters)

Thousands of people have joined anti-migrant protests in three eastern European capitals after leaders from the Czech Republic, Poland and Slovakia opposed an EU scheme to fix refugee quotas.

In the Polish capital Warsaw, nearly 5000 people, many chanting anti-Islamic slogans, marched through the city on Saturday, an AFP correspondent said.

"Islam will be the death of Europe", one of the banners said.

Organisers claimed the demonstration drew 10,000 people, but police refused to confirm the figure.

Members of far-right fringe parties and football supporters chanted "Poles against migrants" and "Migrants today, terrorists tomorrow".

Police in the Czech capital, Prague, said some 800 people protested, holding up banners saying: "Send them back!" and "Protect the borders".

Demonstrators called on the Czech government to resign and for a withdrawal from the European Union which it joined in 2004.

Elsewhere another 200 people staged a counter-demonstration in support of welcoming refugees in the Czech Republic, which has a population of 10.5 million and has seen few new arrivals in recent months.

Across Europe, others also hit the streets to show solidarity refugees entering the continent.

In London, one of dozens of events across Europe, people brandished placards reading "Open the Borders", while in Copenhagen, some 30,000 took to the streets.

In Berlin, demonstrators waved a Syrian flag with "Refugees Welcome" written on it, while rallies in Stockholm, Helsinki and Lisbon each attracted about 1000 people.

All poorer members of the EU, Hungary, Poland, Slovakia and the Czech Republic on Friday ruled out accepting refugees under a compulsory quota system outlined by the European Commission, rejecting German pleas for European solidarity in tackling the crisis.

The European Union's 28 interior ministers are to meet on Monday to discuss a the EC plan, which involves a quota system for distributing 160,000 refugees around the bloc.