Kelebia, 2017. március 20. Járõrözõ katonák az ideiglenes biztonsági határzár két kerítése között futó manõverúton a magyar-szerb határon, Kelebia térségében 2017. március 20-án. MTI Fotó: Kelemen Zoltán Gergely

The legal border closure which took effect on Tuesday is working well and without problems, the first experiences are positive, and migrants have disappeared from the Serbian side of the border, the Minister of State at the Ministry of Interior told the Hungarian news agency MTI.

Károly Kontrát said that the latest measure also has a “shifting effect”: fewer illegal migrants attempt to enter Hungary, as the news fast spreads among them that they should try some other route, rather than via Hungary.

It likewise plays a part in the positive experiences regarding the reinforced legal border closure that training courses were organised for members of the authorities, including the staff members of the Immigration and Asylum Office, the Minister of State pointed out.

He said: according to Friday data, there are 28 individuals in the transit zone at Röszke, and 18 in the transit zone at Tompa. Sixteen new asylum requests have been submitted in Röszke since Tuesday, and 15 in Tompa. In a breakdown by nationalities, there are 15 Afghans, 11 Iraqis, 4 Turks and 1 Nepali, he added.

Mr Kontrát stressed that no one has been able to enter the territory of Hungary illegally since the entry into force of the reinforced legal border closure because the authorities have prevented this, and the migrants who were apprehended in the interior of the country were accompanied back to the transit zones.

He also remarked that the enlargement of the transit zones had been completed.

The new regulation does not only protect Hungary, but also the whole of the European Union, including the citizens of Western-Europe, he highlighted.

Mr Kontrát said that the leaders of the asylum offices of the Visegrád Four had a meeting on Wednesday and Thursday, as part of which they also visited the Röszke transit zone. Zsuzsanna Végh, Director General of the Immigration and Asylum Office informed the press that the attending foreign office leaders and experts spoke about the reinforced legal border closure in a tone of appreciation, highlighting that it serves the best interests of all Schengen Member States, and laid down in a position: Hungary proceeds in harmony with the EU’s objectives, Mr Kontrát said.


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