Hungary is committed to keeping its fence on its southern border standing, a justice ministry official said on Tuesday.
Hungary’s border fence protects both Hungary and the European Union’s Schengen borders and helps prevent terrorist attacks like the ones that have afflicted western European countries, justice ministry state secretary Pál Völner told a press conference.
Speaking about Hungary’s response to the European Commission’s latest criticism of the country’s border regulations, Völner said Hungary’s border rules “do indeed go against [US financier] George Soros’s plan to settle hundreds of thousands of migrants in Europe a year.” The fence physically prevents migrants from entering the country, while border officers escort those who manage to cross the border back to the transit zones where they can apply for asylum, he said.
“In contrast to what rights groups, people smugglers and Soros want to achieve”, Hungary will only give refugee status to those who have indeed fled countries where their lives were in danger, Völner said, stressing that this practice was in line with international norms. He added that Hungary’s asylum regulations conform to the Geneva Conventions.
The state secretary also defended the state providing refugees with non-cash support, noting that refugees in the transit zones have access to WiFi and television and families have access to a playground.