Röszke, April 28 (MTI) – The second line to Hungary’s southern border fence has been completed along the entire 155 kilometres of the Hungary-Serbia border, Károly Kontrát, state secretary at the interior ministry told a press conference on Friday.
Speaking at Röszke border station, Kontrát said that “Hungary’s border protection is stronger than ever, further increasing security”.
The second line was necessary in preparation for a possible increase in migration pressure from the south, Kontrát said. He cited Italy as an example, where the number of new arrivals increased by 33 percent compared to Jan-April 2016.
Migration has been keeping Hungary’s southern borders under constant pressure since 2015 and the number of arrivals is expected to grow during the summer, Kontrát said.
Speaking about attempts to handle the flow of migrants effectively, Kontrát said that attempts to stop international traffickers of migrants and refugees have failed so far. At the Malta EU summit in February 2017, the member states entered an agreement to create “hotspots”, key arrival centres where more rigorous identification and fingerprinting systems will be implemented, in Libya. The aim was to stem the flow of migration from this country to Italy. The plan, however, has not made much headway since, Kontrát said.
The ships carrying migrants are not turned back to Africa when apprehended on open waters, he said. Meanwhile, political developments in Turkey jeopardise the EU agreement on migration with that country, Kontrát added.
The Hungarian legal border seal, which was strengthened a month ago, together with the newly finished second line of fence, greatly relieve the pressure on overworked police and military units serving there, he said.
The second fence cost 4.8 billion forints (EUR 15.3m), and was constructed within 60 days by 150 staff from Hungarian correction facilities and 700 inmates, Kontrat said.
Speaking on public radio on Friday, Prime Minister Viktor Orbán said that the defence system on the southern border guarantees Hungarian people’s security for a long time. Although the pressure of migration from the Balkans will remain, the fences are “impenetrable” and able to stop “basically any number of people”, he said. The European Commission, George Soros and NGOs are working to force Hungary to dismantle the fence, change its legislation and let illegal migrants in, Orbán added.