Germany and Austria welcomed thousands of refugees yesterday after their long walk through Hungary. The refugees arrived at train stations in Germany and at the Austrian border to crowds of local people who applauded the new arrivals and gave them water, food and clothes. German and Austrian children carried baskets of sweets to give to the children from Syria, Iraq, Afghanistan and other countries. For many of the refugees, it was the end of a long journey that started in Syria and ended with a long walk through Hungary. German rail company Deutsche Bahn announced on Saturday that it would be adding extra carriages to its trains and was doing "doing everything it can" to help the refugees.
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The United Nations (UN) has praised Austria and Germany for their efforts to welcome and help the refugees. It said: "This is political leadership based on humanitarian values." Germany's leader Angela Merkel said her country would welcome all refugees from Syria. Germany is expecting around 800,000 Syrians to arrive this year amid continuing uncertainty about the future of Syria. Ms Merkel told reporters that, "as a strong, economically healthy country, we have the strength to do what is necessary." One refugee, a Syrian shopkeeper said: "I'm very glad to be in Germany. I hope that I find a much better life here. I want to work." He expressed concern for his family and young children still in Syria.