21:20 GMT18 January 2021
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    Major Migrant Crisis in Europe (1819)
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    Recently expanded powers for the Hungarian army along the country’s southern border with Serbia ease the burden of police, a senior Fidesz party lawmaker told Sputnik on Friday.

    BUDAPEST (Sputnik), Mary Lopatto – Strict new border control laws came into force in the country in mid-September, with sentences for illegal border crossing and damage to border structures. Some 9,000 soldiers and military vehicles have been deployed to the country's southern border.

    "New powers help the army take some load off of overloaded police services so that they could carry out their ‘classical’ task of policing the rest of Hungary," Gergely Gulyas said.

    The parliamentary group deputy leader maintained that the recently passed package of crisis laws was in line with the country’s constitution, which sketches out a military defense of Hungarian borders.

    "In this case the army has the right, but not an obligation, to use weapons only on the territory and the period of time detailed in the crisis situation," Gulyas said, maintaining that the army was allowed to exercise new powers in strict collaboration with police.

    Gulyas also said that the Hungarian government is spending around 60 billion Hungarian forint (about $215 million) on costs associated with maintaining order on its borders amid the migrant crisis.

    "In addition to budgetary allocations prescribed for 2015, the Hungarian government is spending about 60 billion forint on additional costs associated with the migration situation," Gergely Gulyas said.

    He added that the border controls that have led to the extra expenditure were introduced because most of the quarter of a million migrants that had crossed into Hungary so far this year intended to travel further to more affluent EU member states.

    "In practice, migrants typically do not follow the rules and do not await application processing at reception centers, moving on to Western Europe and thereby unable to take advantage of the services provided to them there," Gulyas argued.

    Gulyas said those who were waiting for their asylum applications to be processed were guaranteed medical attention, housing and three meals a day.

    EU leadership is not capable of providing legal logistical solutions to a “great migration” it is facing that are in compliance with European standards, Gulyas told Sputnik.

    “European Union authorities cannot cope [with the migrant crisis] in a way that respects European norms.”

    The parliamentary group deputy leader claims that it is impossible to maintain a ready infrastructure to “meet all the needs” and keep up with growing numbers of asylum seekers.

    “Neither the Geneva Convention nor European laws – on which Hungary bases its legislation – have been devised for these situations that resemble a great migration,” Gulyas observed.

    Hungarian authorities estimate up to a quarter-million migrants have arrived in the country this year.

    Hungary's Border Fence to Limit Crossings From Croatia

    The number of migrants attempting to cross into Hungary from Croatia will decline when Hungary’s new border fence is completed, Gulyas told Sputnik.

    Hungarian authorities completed the first stage of a fence along the country’s southern border with Serbia on September 14. Police recorded a decline in illegal border crossing interceptions from a record-setting 9,380 to 366 migrants overnight.

    "The fence being built on the Hungarian-Croatian border is expected to demonstrate the same efficiency," Gergely Gulyas said.

    The parliamentary group deputy leader argued that some migrants rerouted from Serbia into Croatia found their way back to Hungary with outside assistance.

    "Migrants began to choose a different route as a result of tightened procedures and – with the active help from Croatian authorities – are trying to enter Hungarian territory," Gulyas maintained.

    In response to an extraordinary wave of migrants using the country as a transit point into Western Europe, Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban pledged to build fences along his Croatian, Romanian and Slovenian borders.

    Major Migrant Crisis in Europe (1819)


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    army deployment, refugee crisis, border crossing, police, Gergely Gulyas, Hungary
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