Budapest, September 18 (MTI) – Hungary started building a temporary fence on its border with Croatia early on Friday, Prime Minister Viktor Orban said.
Orban told public radio Kossuth that the fence is planned to be 41 kilometres long and the “preliminary line of defence” will be completed on Friday.
“We must carry out the same action as what was implemented along the Serbian-Hungarian border,” he said.
Several hundred police and soldiers have been sent to the Hungarian-Croatian border, he added. A total of 600 soldiers are already on site and they will be joined by another 500 during the day and an additional 700 over the weekend. There are currently also 200 police on the border and they will be joined by 100 during the day and another 500 during the weekend, Orban said.
A human smuggling route still exists through the Western Balkans and even though Hungary can protect the Hungarian-Serbian border, it has not put an end to the supply of migrants, he said.
“A large crowd of people should be expected to continue passing along Hungary’s southern borders, the same crowd that previously wanted to reach Austria through Hungary,” he said. The question is what route they would take from Croatia. It is already clear that one of the planned routes would cross Hungary and “we are trying to thwart that”, Orban said.
He said nobody should hope to be able to sneak into Hungary illegally.
Orban said Hungary cannot expect to rely on its southern neighbours, neither the Serbians nor the Croatians, for help “when there is a situation”.
What’s even worse, Hungary cannot even expect help from the West and “the critical voices from there are not calming down”, he said. Parts of the European media and politics are governed by “suicidal liberalism” that “puts our way of life at risk”, he added.
At the same time, Orban expressed hope that Slovenia would take the protection of Schengen borders seriously.
He said the Hungarian authorities have already captured a terrorist.
“We know who organised the attack against the Hungarian state from Serbian territory,” he added. Their actions were controlled with the help of loudspeakers in English and in Arabic, and there was “organised media coverage”.
Commenting on Wednesday’s events at the Roszke border crossing with Serbia, where police clashed with migrants, he said “Hungary was subjected to an armed attack from the direction of Serbia” and Serbians did not even try to prevent the attack against Hungarian police who fully observed the rules of humane treatment.
“What we want to prove … is that there may be a large flow of migrants towards Europe but if everyone is fulfilling their tasks then this flow could be halted, controlled and made transparent,” Orban said. Europe does not know who the people admitted are, it is not simply a migration problem, and the risks, including the risk of terrorism, also need to be seriously addressed.
The prime minister once again expressed his support for Hungary’s Muslim community, and said they are “valuable people”. He warned that it was important to make sure that Hungary’s commitment to its Christian identity does not come across as “anti-Islam” sentiment.
“Hungary will never be anti-Islam,” Orban insisted.
Orban said it would be “a political crime” to tie the debate on the refugee quota system to the potential suspension of EU funds.
“Hungary would be a colony” if the imbalance between the western EU member states and the former communist countries remained in place, the prime minister said. He noted that the EU had implemented certain economic mechanisms to ensure that the newer member states could be competitive.
On the topic of Antal Rogan’s appointment to the position of cabinet chief, Orban said the position was designed to “mend certain weaknesses”.
“I have far too much on my plate … I too need younger people and more help,” the prime minister said.