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U.N. Says Europe's Refugee Crisis Could Be the 'Tip of the Iceberg'

The United Nations said problems now facing governments may turn out to be "the tip of the iceberg."
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GENEVA — The United Nations said Friday it could see no easing of the flow of refugees into Europe — with 8,000 arrivals daily — and that problems now facing governments may turn out to be "the tip of the iceberg."

"I don’t see it abating, I don’t see it stopping," Amin Awad, regional refugee coordinator for the U.N. refugee agency UNHCR, told journalists in Geneva. "If anything, it gives an indication perhaps that this is the tip of the iceberg."

Dominik Bartsch, the U.N.'s deputy humanitarian coordinator in Iraq, said 10 million people were expected to need humanitarian support by the end of the year. Some 3.2 million have already been displaced after ISIS overran swaths of the country.

European Union leaders have pledged at least $1.1 billion for Syrian refugees in the Middle East and closer cooperation to stem migrant flows into Europe.

Related: Nazi-Inspired Party Gains on Island Hit by Refugee Influx

The arrival of the refugees, many abandoning refugee camps in Turkey, Jordan or Lebanon after three years or more, has stirred sharp disagreement between countries on how to process and accommodate them. While governments such as Germany have proven more welcoming, eastern European countries have resisted plans for quotas to disperse refugees.

Right-wing Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban said in Vienna that after construction of a steel fence to stop refugees entering from Serbia, migrants were now entering via Greece and the Balkans from Croatia.

How it could be stopped "was the big question of the next few days and weeks, I am trying to seek supporters for this," Orban told a news conference after meeting Austrian Chancellor Werner Faymann.

Not all refugees enter via eastern Europe and the Mediterranean. In recent days, about 500 refugees per day have crossed the Finnish land border in Tornio, near the Arctic Circle, after a long journey through central Europe and Sweden.

Finnish media reported that demonstrators had thrown stones and launched fireworks at a bus full of asylum seekers arriving at a reception center in Lahti in southern Finland, late on Thursday.

Between 30 and 40 protesters, one in a white robe like those worn by the white supremacist Ku Klux Klan in the United States, waved the Finnish flag and shouted abuse at the bus.

"The Finnish government strongly condemns last night's racist protests against asylum seekers who had entered the country," the government said in a statement. "Violence or the threat of violence is always to be condemned."