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Debate Continues On Hungary’s Planned Fence Along Border With Serbia

Tamás Székely 2015.06.23.

The opposition Socialist Party (MSZP) has called for a special session of parliament for a debate on its two bills aimed at resolving the migration crisis, deputy group leader Tamás Harangozó said. The Socialists propose that a sum of 22 billion forints (EUR 70.8m) the government plans to spend on building a fence along the Hungary-Serbia border should be re-allocated to relevant authorities to ease the migration pressure. The party’s proposals include doubling the budget of the immigration authority and providing sufficient providing the police force with 10 billion forints (EUR 32m) to purchase modern technical equipment to monitor the border.

Ruling Fidesz said in response that “Hungary was under the greatest immigration pressure in the whole European Union and the country was not in a position to live with such a massive group of immigrants.” Therefore it is necessary to put up a fence along the Hungarian-Serbian border, an MP of the ruling party said. Szilárd Németh reminded reporters of the fact that since the beginning of 2015 more than 60,000 entrants had crossed into Hungary illegally, most of them from Serbia. He referred to a “novel, economic kind of migration” mostly from Africa and the Middle East, but noted that the largest number of illegal immigrants arriving in Hungary were of Kosovar origin.

Meanwhile government spokesman Zoltán Kovács said that Hungarian border patrols would not be given any order to shoot at illegal immigrants along Hungary’s southern border. He told daily Magyar Hírlap on Monday that the related rumours were “groundless and malevolent” speculation. Hungary will not have to amend any of its laws, only guarantee the means for enforcing them, he insisted. Serbian and Hungarian authorities are in permanent touch with one another and the Hungarian officials had explained the motives for decisions, he said.

Police chiefs of the two countries met on Monday and agreed to take joint steps against illegal migration. Under the agreement, four mobile thermal cameras will be installed on the Serbian side of the joint border and twenty new police officers will go on duty on the Serbian-Macedonian border, Károly Papp, Hungary’s police chief, said after meeting his Serbian counterpart Milorad Veljović in Szeged. In an effort to curb human trafficking, Hungarian, Serbian and Austrian police will set up a joint investigator team, Lieutenant-General Papp added.

via hungarymatters.hu, MTI and magyarhirlap.hu photo: public domain