01:39 GMT07 April 2020
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    Hungary estimates that it will spend €200 million this year on regulating the migrant crisis.

    LONDON (Sputnik) – Hungary estimates that it will spend 200 million ($222 million) this year on regulating the migrant crisis, the country's ambassador to the United Kingdom said Tuesday.

    "For this crisis this year, it’s going to cost the Hungarian citizens 200 million euros," Peter Szabadhegy said in a Q&A session following a briefing in the UK capital.

    Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban himself mentioned the same figure in an interview last week with the Hungarian private broadcaster TV2.

    Szabadhegy made his projection while defending Orban’s decision to build a fence along its borders with Serbia, Croatia and Romania to stem the flow of migrants.

    The ambassador said that a number of European media outlets and politicians had unfairly accused Hungary of displaying reluctance to register asylum seekers on its territory, adding that it was important to distinguish between refugees fleeing wars and religious persecution and those motivated by economic factors.

    He said 224,000 people entered Hungary so far this year.

    Hungary is being used as a gateway to wealthier EU countries by hundreds of thousands of undocumented immigrants. Budapest estimates that over 190,000 migrants have illegally entered the country since the beginning of 2015.

    Budapest made illegal border crossings punishable by up to three years in prison last week, prompting refugees to seek alternative routes to Western Europe.

    Topic:
    Major Migrant Crisis in Europe (1819)

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