Hungary considers fence to keep migrants out

2015-06-17 20:24
A family of illegal immigrants in Serbia. (AFP)

A family of illegal immigrants in Serbia. (AFP)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Budapest - The Hungarian government is considering building a 4m-high fence along the border with Serbia to stop the flow of migrants reaching the country, the foreign minister said on Wednesday.

The government has asked Interior Minister Sandor Pinter to present preparations for the plan by next Wednesday.

"The pressure of migration which presents serious difficulties for Europe affects Hungary the most among EU member countries," Foreign Minister Peter Szijjarto said. "Hungary cannot allow itself to wait any longer. Naturally, we hope there will be a joint European solution."

Szijjarto said the fence along the 175km  southern border with Serbia wouldn't contravene any of Hungary's international legal obligations. He said that the governments of Hungary and Serbia would hold a summit on July 1, when "we will inform our Serb friends ... in detail of the Hungarian measures".

The foreign minister also said that, in line with a bill presented last week by lawmakers from the governing Fidesz party, the government was taking legal preliminary steps to designate all EU member and candidate countries as safe countries.

This step would allow Hungary, for example, from having to receive asylum seekers coming from Serbia or Greece, countries not considered by the EU to have the infrastructure necessary to guarantee their safety.

"The Hungarian government is committed to defending Hungary and defending the Hungarian people from the immigration pressure," Szijjarto said, naming the Greek-Turkish and the Bulgarian-Turkish borders as locations where similar fences have been built with the purpose of stopping migrants.

Since the second half of 2014, the number of migrants and asylum seekers entering Hungary, mostly across the southern border with Serbia, has risen markedly.

So far this year, more than 53 000 people have requested asylum in Hungary, up from under 43 000 in 2014 and 2 150 in 2012.

More than 70% of asylum seekers over the past three months are from Syria, Afghanistan and Iraq, though the vast majority move further west to destinations like Germany and Sweden shortly after filing their asylum requests.

Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.
NEXT ON NEWS24X

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
2 comments
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24

 
/News

Book flights

Compare, Book, Fly

Traffic Alerts
Traffic
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.




Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.