Budapest (MTI) – The threat of terrorism has increased in Hungary but not to a level where it would affect the everyday lives of citizens, Interior Minister Sandor Pinter said on Tuesday.
Pinter said at his annual hearing before parliament’s national security committee that the authorities are continually monitoring the level of threat and there is no need for special training to individuals. He added that “nobody is trying to create panic” but it is necessary to join forces “to make people understand the situation if it is necessary to resort to special means.”
Committee chair Zsolt Molnar, of the opposition Socialists, told the press after the meeting that, in addition to soldiers and police officers, members of the public should also be trained for special events. He criticised the 2016 budget bill for not including a sufficient allocation for the prevention of terrorist acts.
Pinter told the hearing that most of the refugees arriving in Hungary are escaping from Islamic State but if the land operations against IS are successful, then most probably terrorists will be applying for refugee status.
People committing acts of terrorism and receiving training for such acts should in any case be prevented from “replicating in Europe as cancerous cells” and threatening the lives of citizens within the Schengen borders, the minister said.
Pinter said around 100,000 migrants are expected to arrive in Hungary by the end of this year. They will pose a serious burden on the country, the authorities and also the budget, considering that their upkeep costs 4,300 forints (EUR 14) a day, he said.
Bernadett Szel of the opposition LMP said after the meeting that the current government would be unable to handle the issue of migration. It follows that Hungary needs a prime minister who can enforce the country’s interests in Brussels, she said.
Molnar said that the government is trying to threaten people with the massive inflow of migrants. He insisted that there is no connection between terrorism and immigration.