Signs are that Hungary’s neighbors will no longer be able to turn their noses up on active cooperation in fighting illegal migration with Budapest while still benefiting from its expensive and complex border protection measures. On Monday evening, police officers gave chase to a migrant smugglers’ vehicle in the village of Veľké Leváre (Nagylévárd, Gross-Schützen), in western Slovakia. The van filled with illegal migrants had refused to stop, hence warning shots were fired at the scene, reported Hlavné Správy.
According to police sources, it is not yet clear whether one or more vehicles were involved. However, several politicians have reacted to the incident, which highlights the seriousness of the situation where migrants are turning Slovakia into a lawless transit zone. From the growing number of migrants and people smuggling incidents, it is clear that organized human smuggling networks have identified Slovakia as a weak spot, and are using it to transport their human cargo to Austria and Germany.
A member of the Hungarian party in Slovakia, Alliance (Szövetség), György Gyimesi, said after the incident that “the policy of welcoming migrants and turning a blind eye to the real problem of illegal migration is having its first results. A police chase and shooting in the village of Veľké Leváre at a car full of migrants! It is only a matter of time before not tackling migration becomes someone’s fate. The safety of citizens must take precedence over any demands from Brussels. A pat on the back at an EU summit cannot be more important than our own interests!
Deputy chairman of Slovakia’s National Council Peter Pčolinský (Sme Rodina) added: “This is the consequence of not guarding border crossings when vans with migrants have to be chased by our police officers, risking life and limb in the process.”
At the same time, Slovakia’s liberal President Zuzana Caputová had implicitly blamed the Hungarian government for the migrant crisis in her country, while interim Prime Minister, Ludovít Ódor, a former guest lecturer at George Soros’ Central European University, had dismissed it altogether.
Featured Image: Facebook Slovak Police