"Since 2015 millions have arrived illegally in Europe from Africa and the Middle East."Continue reading
The Hungarian Armed Forces ended active service on the Hungarian-Serbian border on Thursday and were replaced by the border hunter units that were set up this year (as part of the police force), MTI reports.
Bence Rétvári, State Secretary of the Interior Ministry, said at the handover at the Hercegszántó army base that more than 263,000 illegal entry attempts were thwarted this year on that border section alone.
Those who serve at Hungary’s southern border are protecting one of the most-attacked border sections in the European Union,
the state secretary remarked.
Rétvári pointed out that one in nine prisoners serving their sentences or awaiting trial in Hungarian prisons is a trafficker; these 2,500 people are citizens of 73 countries.
According to Tamás Vargha, State Secretary at the Defense Ministry, three-quarters of all Hungarian troops have already served at the border, which proves their “preparedness, patriotism, and commitment to peace.”
The Hungarian government decided in July to set up the border fighter units, and their training started in August. As Hungary Today previously reported, during the four-week, 180-hour training, students acquired law enforcement, legal, shooting, and tactical border police, and border traffic control knowledge.
The media and opposition parties were initially sceptical about whether enough people would sign up for the training. But despite their scepticism, border hunter jobs proved to be popular among Hungarians, Hungary Today reported. In the end, the actual number of applicants was lower than the interest, and it was reported in the press that many trainees had dropped out in the meantime.
In July, the government announced that the monthly salary of border hunters would be 300,000 forints (750 euros) gross during training and 400,000 forints (1,000 euros) afterward. It was also announced that the salaries of police officers and soldiers would continue to rise.
The opposition media has consistently criticized the training of border fighters. When it was announced that they would receive 260,000 forints (650 euros) gross per month, the press called the amount ridiculous. But when the higher salary was announced, it was considered too much and the prime minister was asked why border guards could earn more than some teachers.
“You have the whole country behind you and it is your task to protect the motherland against migration,” Prime Minister Viktor Orbán said at a ceremony held in Budapest in September, on the occasion of the establishment of the border hunters regiment. He told the border hunters taking their oaths: “we respect your determination, courage, and the fact that you agreed to carry out this task, we appreciate the service that you perform in the interest of our country.” “Security begins at our borders, and Hungary’s security begins with the border hunters,” he stressed.
Photos via MTI/Ujvári Sándor