12:26 GMT +311 December 2018
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    Refugees walk from railway station in Hegyeshalom in Hungary toward the Austrian border (File)

    Hungary Not to Enact New Measures Amid Possible Closure of Austrian Border

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    A state of emergency in Hungary, due to expire on September 9, would be further prolonged, according to the press office for the Hungarian prime minister.

    MOSCOW (Sputnik) — The Hungarian government does not consider it necessary to undertake any new measures to stop the inflow of migrants as Budapest has already enacted all possible measures to cope with the matter, the press office for the Hungarian prime minister told Sputnik Monday.

    Earlier in the day, Austrian Chancellor Christian Kern announced that the Austrian authorities would probably convene for talks on the introduction of a special border regime amid the rising influx of asylum seekers on September 6.

    "It is not necessary for the Government to introduce measures other than those already in force in Hungary," the press office said, commenting on Hungary's likely reaction should neighboring Austria decide to entirely close its borders at a Cabinet meeting in Vienna.

    The press office pointed out that in September 2015, the Hungarian government announced a state of emergency in the two states bordering Serbia, which was extended to cover the entire country in March the following year.

    Last week, government spokesperson Zoltan Kovacs announced that the state of emergency, due to expire on September 9, would be further prolonged.

    "We certainly understand that Austria is conducting random checks at the Hungarian-Austrian border, but it is our firm belief that Austrian borders should not be protected at Hegyeshalom [a village on the border with Austria and less than 9 miles from the border with Slovakia] but at the Serbian-Hungarian border section," the prime minister's office noted.

    The press office added that in September 20 Austrian police officers would arrive in Hungary to help protect the Serbian-Hungarian section of the border, with the parties due "to further examine how cooperation could be extended."

    After receiving 90,000 asylum applications in 2015, Vienna put a cap of a maximum 37,500 asylum applications for 2016, with Defense Minister Hans Peter Doskozil warning that this upper limit would be reached by November as Austria has accepted as many as 26,000 applications so far this year.

    Earlier this year, the Interior Ministry suggested that the Austrian government introduce emergency measures, possibly including turning nearly all asylum seekers away at the border, before this upper limit has been reached.

    Slovak, Polish, Czech and Slovenian police officers are already assisting Hungary in controlling its borders to intercept undocumented migrants striving to get into the European Union.


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