Hungary steps up border security measures
Gyorgy Balkondi, senior domestic security advisor to the country’s prime minister, said the measures – which include the increased military presence and tighter border controls – would remain in place for the foreseeable future.
He added that “mass loads” of migrants were still trying to enter the country – with some days seeing 150 within 24 hours.
Mr Balkondi added that the majority of unlawful entries were taking place on the Serbia-Hungary border, but added the situation along the Ukrainian and Romanian borders were also of increased concern.
The declaration of a ‘crisis situation’ in Hungary came after Balkan routes into Europe were closed to migrants.
Hungarian PM Viktor Orban has previously described migrants as 'poison'
The emergency border controls were initially put in place in March 2016 – and were intended to be enforced for a year.
However, these have now been extended to at least September this year.
Reports suggest the country is also taking steps to modify four laws to “empower authorities to detain migrants whose legal status is uncertain”, including those seeking asylum.
Migrants clash with police across Europe Wed, February 15, 2017
Migrants clash with each other in over crowded camps across Europe.
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Moroccan Police look at immigrants trying to jump the six-meter-high fence in Ceuta, Spanish enclave on the north of Africa, 09 December 2016.
According to Bence Tuzson, a Hungarian Cabinet Office undersecretary, the proposals would allow the state to detain asylum seekers in “transit zones” in the southern border until a decision was made on their applications.
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Tuzson added that asylum seekers in Europe were deemed a “grave threat” to the continent’s security, and while their applications were under review, migrants would only be allowed to to leave the zones to travel towards Serbia.
Emergency border controls were first enforced in March 2016
At present, migrants detained within 5 miles of the Hungarian border can be transferred to transit zones.
Under the fresh proposals, the limit would be scrapped and authorities would be allowed to transfer any migrant from anywhere within Hungary.
If accepted by parliament, the new laws could come into effect as early as late spring.
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