Budapest, October 8 (MTI) – The fence along the Hungarian-Croatian border is 99 percent complete, Janos Lazar, the government office chief, said at a regular government press briefing on Thursday.
The Hungarian government is in the midst of international consultations on steps to be taken to operate security along the border, Lazar said.
Hungary’s plan is for the southern Schengen border with Croatia to be protected jointly by forces from the member states of the Visegrad Group.
Lazar said Hungary is exposed to organised action by people smugglers, with the intensive involvement of the Croatian state.
The government hopes that completion of the fence will significantly decrease or eliminate the pressure of migration, Lazar said.
At the same time, the minister said it was easily imaginable that by the end of the year 600,000 illegal migrants will have arrived in Hungary.
Since the beginning of 2015, 176,205 asylum applications have been filed with Hungary’s authorities, Lazar said, adding that criminal proceedings have been launched against over 400 illegal entrants; in most cases the defendants have been expelled from the country.
Hungary has so far spent 60 billion forints (EUR 192m) of public funds to tackle migration-related issues, the minister said.