Budapest, July 29 (MTI) – The government will reallocate an additional 22.2 billion forints (EUR 71.8m) for the construction of the border fence along the Hungarian-Serbian border and for the temporary placement of illegal migrants, the government spokesman told public news channel M1 on Wednesday.
Zoltan Kovacs noted that the government had already reallocated 6.5 billion forints for the construction of the fence, meaning that a total of 29 billion forints will be spent on tackling Hungary’s migration crisis.
The funds, which will be spent on setting up migrant camps outside residential areas and relocating reception centres from built-up areas, will be reallocated from budget reserves, Kovacs said. The government will decide on where it will place the camps within a few months, he added. He said over 3,500 migrants were currently staying at reception centres.
Kovacs said the increasing migration pressure also posed financial difficulties for Hungary, as the European Union has so far only provided “a fraction” of the funding needed for dealing with the crisis.
The government spokesman said that over 5,600 illegal migrants had received treatment up until the beginning of June, adding that the crisis is also having an effect on Hungary’s health-care sector.
Kovacs noted that over 50 migrants had to be taken to hospital from a Budapest railway station late on Tuesday with an unknown infection after a charity organisation alerted the authorities.
The Socialist Party responded by saying that ruling Fidesz has been “campaigning instead of governing”, while refugees are arriving in Hungary “by the thousands”.
Deputy group leader Tamas Harangozo said that the government had known since January that the number of migrants arriving in Hungary had multiplied compared to earlier years, “but has so far done nothing to remedy the problem”. Harangozo said it was “unacceptable” that the government would take “months” to decide where it will place the migrant camps.
He noted that last month the party submitted a bill to parliament proposing that a sum of 22 billion forints should be reallocated to relevant authorities to ease the migration pressure, adding that “the government had not taken any action”.
Harangozo said the party’s proposals would have called for “a stricter penal code” and for setting up reception centres where migrants could wait until the end of their asylum proceedings under “humane conditions”.