Budapest, July 21 (MTI) – The government decided at its Tuesday meeting to erect two types of border fences, government office chief Janos Lazar told a press conference.
The fence stretching along sections of the border which are easier to access will extend 1.5 metres into the ground and 3 metres above the ground. The fence running 2.5 metres from the Hungarian-Serbian border will be equipped with NATO wire, Lazar said. He said simpler fencing will be installed on the 30-40 kilometre section of the border which is harder to access.
The interior ministry and the defence ministry are in charge of the project, he said.
Lazar said 980,000 square metres of private property would need to be used during the construction, for which owners would receive a one-time compensation as well as a usage fee of 160-170 forints (EUR 0.5) per square metre.
Lazar said signs would be placed on the fence to indicate the nearest legal border crossing, thus allowing “genuine political refugees” to enter the country. “One should enter Hungary through the door, not through the wall,” he said. “We are of the old school, we believe that if one wants to enter somewhere, he or she should knock first rather than trying to break through the wall,” he added.
Lazar said the number of illegal border crossers kept growing and could reach 300,000 by year-end. Over the past few months, more illegal immigrants entered Europe through the Balkan Peninsula than through Italy, from the Mediterranean Sea. Hungary has become the country “most exposed” to illegal immigration, he said.
Lazar said European countries that have implemented a border closure have managed to reduce human smuggling flows by up to 90 percent, adding that the fight against human smuggling can only be successful if Hungary, Austria, Germany, Macedonia and other Balkan countries work together.
The government office chief reiterated that the government was committed to making illegal migration a criminal offense.