Austria closed busy border crossings from Hungary: ministry wants urgent talks
The Austrian local governments closed two busy border crossings between Austria and Hungary. The Hungarian mayor of Sopron called the act unfriendly and discriminative, which harms the community law. The foreign ministry wants urgent talks with the Austrians.
Border crossings to Austria closed
According to Magyar Nemzet, Sopron’s mayor, Ciprián Farkas, said that the Austrians closed the border crossing between Ágfalva (Hungary) and Somfalva (Austria) and another near Szentmargitbánya (St. Margarethen). Therefore, he would like to start talks about connecting the Austrian A3 motorway and the Hungarian M85 high-speed road to reduce traffic at that border crossing. As a result, the border crossing might reopen for the Hungarians driving to work in Austria each day.
A meeting on the issue might take place in April, Magyar Nemzet wrote. The mayor of Sopron (Fidesz) is hopeful they could reach a kind of compromise. However, he does not believe that the Austrians would ever reestablish the operation of the Ágfalva-Somfalva border crossing like it was before.
According to Mr Farkas, the Austrians would not like to build the road connection, while the Hungarian government is committed to finishing the job by the end of 2024. He added that the Austrian authorities did not share their intentions to close the border crossing with their Hungarian counterparts. He also learned about the measure from social media. He believes that the act harms the freedom of movement in the European Union. Besides, they completed the renewal of two roads leading to the border crossing from EU funds. The money aimed to facilitate the free movement of people between the countries.
The mayor of Sopron highlighted that 10-15 thousand Hungarians are affected who used the crossing every day since they work in Austria but live in Hungary. Getting to Austria from that region is difficult now, and there are long queues at other border crossings. That is because the local government of Szentmargitbánya (St. Margarethen) banned all vehicles from the road leading to Hungary. The only exceptions are cars owned by citizens of the nearby villages.
Farkas talked about the issue in an interview:
Anti-Hungarian atmosphere in Austria?
Mr Farkas said in a letter he wrote to Thomas Hoffmann, the mayor of Somfalva, that politicians generate an anti-Hungarian atmosphere in Austria even though the talented and hard-working Hungarians strengthen the Austrian economy with their work. He asked his counterpart to take measures against unknown locals, who caused minor damages to the Hungarian cars. Mr Hoffmann said in his reply that such allegations are absurd. Local police denied that vandals damaged cars with Hungarian license plates. We wrote about this problem in detail HERE.