Based on the official statistics, the number of migrants trying to get through the Hungarian-Serbian border is at a record low. Meanwhile, migrants trying to break through the Turkish-Greek border were removed by the Turkish authorities.
The activity of those trying to get through the borders illegally has decreased significantly, Prime Minister Orbán’s Chief Security Advisor, György Bakondi, said on the news on March 25. According to Atlatszo, he added that
Serbian authorities transfer migrants from the Hungarian border to the centre of the country
because of the coronavirus epidemic.
And it is not only Mr Bakondi who says that the number of migrants is decreasing. Based on the latest data on police.hu, between March 16 and 22, more than 200 people tried to get to Hungary illegally. This number fell to 98 between March 23 and 29, while during week 14 (March 30 – April 5),
“only” 33 migrants tried to cross the border illegally.
The statistics of previous weeks showed more than 1,000 migrants each week, so it seems that Serbian authorities can stop people trying to get to Western Europe illegally. Meanwhile, the situation got better on the Turkish-Greek border as well because Turkish authorities removed the crowds from there.
Interestingly, pro-government media outlets like Magyar Nemzet did not notice the change because they wrote on March 26 that migrants do not give up on getting into Hungary even though the borders of the country are closed because of the virus. They wrote in the article that migrants think Hungarian police are concentrating on the epidemic, so the borders are not as well-protected, which, of course, is not true.
Atlatszo asked the police why migrants have “disappeared”. They did not want to comment on the decreasing numbers of migrants, but they added that the police force on the border is
always enough to baulk any attempts to get into Hungary illegally.
Source: atlatszo.hu, police.hu