Budapest, March 23 (MTI) – Hungary will maintain or heighten all security measures at its borders, Prime Minister Viktor Orbán said after a meeting of the operative staff on Wednesday.
Orbán told public news channel M1 that Hungary’s security situation was reviewed at the meeting in the wake of Tuesday’s Brussels bombings.
The operative staff will maintain a terrorism alert at the second highest level and the full alert of the counter-terrorism force TEK. Police forces throughout the country will be put on a high state of alert and the migration state of emergency will be kept in place.
Orbán said he had instructed Interior Minister Sándor Pintér to prepare all terrorism-related proposals for Wednesday’s cabinet meeting that had been stymied by political disputes, including a planned amendment to the constitution that would hand the government sweeping counter-terrorism powers.
Hungary must upgrade its technology in order to catch up with countries whose security services have the best technical background. “We will buy technology and hold training and instruction courses,” Orbán said.
What the general public will notice is a high police presence and at certain locations, such as the airport, armoured vehicles, Orbán said. Patrolling officers will be visible in the streets and authorities will monitor the use of “equipment suitable for information transfer”. Orbán asked Hungarians to accept the measures “with patience” and to cooperate with the authorities.
The target of Tuesday’s bombings was not Belgium but Europe, the prime minister said, adding that the attack was therefore against Hungary too, Orban said. But since Hungary is part of the European Union, it is necessary to prepare for all possible threats and take all precautions, he added.
The meeting of the operative staff was attended by TEK chief János Hajdú and national police chief Károly Papp.
The opposition Socialists said in response that Orbán’s words were an open admission of the fact that the government “stands unprepared” to handle any terrorist attack against the country.
The responsibility for moving to act belatedly only in the wake of the Brussels attacks lies with the government which previously had swept security enhancing measures proposed by the Socialists off the table two months ago, two lawmakers of the party said. The planned amendment to the constitution would most certainly serve ruling Fidesz’s selfish interest of staying in power, and not the security of Hungarians, Zsolt Molnár and Tamás Harangozó said in a joint statement.