Budapest, December 16 (MTI) – Authorities on Wednesday placed a “Closed” sign on the gate of the refugee reception centre in Debrecen in eastern Hungary, thus officially closing down the camp that had provided shelter for refugees for twenty years.
Lajos Kosa, parliamentary group leader for ruling Fidesz and the city’s former mayor, said that over the past years Debrecen had demonstrated solidarity and humanity by welcoming refugees, but it was time to close the camp. “This is a time when Europe must protect its borders instead of setting up camps,” Kosa said.
Debrecen Mayor Laszlo Papp thanked the government for its consistent migration policy which allowed for the refugee camp — which he said posed a security risk for the city — to be closed down.
Interior ministry state secretary Karoly Kontrat noted that the refugee camp welcomed a total of 73,000 people over its years of operation. At the beginning of the camp’s operation, most refugees came from South Slavic countries while later on the camp mostly gave shelter to Afghan, Iraqi, Syrian and Kosovar refugees, he said.