Visegrád, February 16 (MTI) – The government-initiated bill on “reinforcing the legal border seal” is aimed at preventing illegal entry and movement of people of “unknown identity and motivation”, who would pose a security risk to Hungary and the European Union, the prime minister’s chief security advisor said on Thursday.
Speaking on the sidelines of a meeting of the ruling Fidesz and Christian Democrat lawmakers in Visegrád, north of Budapest, György Bakondi said that the new rules if passed by parliament, would be applied “at times of emergency caused by mass migration”.
Under the new law, asylum seekers will be considered as people staying in the country illegally during the entire procedure, until their applications are evaluated, Bakondi said. He insisted that applicants would not be in detention because “they will be allowed to leave the transit zone for Serbia at any time”. Those leaving the transit zone for Hungary without permission, however, will face detention, he added.
Bakondi noted that currently there are two such transit zones along Hungary’s southern borders, and said that while the government was not planning to set up further facilities, arrangements would be made to provide accommodation and board for more migrants.
Since the beginning of the year, Hungary’s border police have prevented 2,300 migrants from illegally entering the country and apprehended 1,900 on the Hungarian side of the border. The latter were sent back to the other side of the border, he said. Fully 752 asylum seekers have submitted applications, out of which 34 have been granted some form of refugee status, Bakondi added.
János Halász spokesman of the Fidesz group, voiced his party’s support for the legal changes and said that the bill was drafted in line with European law. He insisted that the EU would also benefit from the Hungarian regulations, as they would contribute to security in Europe. “But we know the approach of Brussels bureaucrats,” Halász said and suggested that the EU would scrutinise the package.