The Hungarian authorities are anticipating illegal migration from the south to skyrocket, a government official told public broadcaster M1 on Friday. Moreover, the increasingly aggressive behaviour of human smugglers “foreshadow a hot summer and autumn”.
Bence Rétvári, an interior ministry state secretary, said the authorities have caught more than 100,000 illegal entrants in southern Hungary since the start of the year, while 750 human smugglers have been detained, compared with 400 in the same period last year.
Some of the smugglers tried to “break through” the border in cars, he said, while others “threatened to use arms and hand grenades”.
Given the war in Ukraine and soaring food prices in Africa, more and more people are setting off for Europe, Retvari said, with a corresponding rise in the number of illegal migrants expected to turn up at Hungary’s southern border. He said Europe had “closed its eyes” to the problem and was now “even turning the other way”.