Author Topic: Hungary closes border with Serbia and starts building fence to bar migrants  (Read 4440 times)

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Offline mayya

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Hungary closes border with Serbia and starts building fence to bar migrants


Fence will be built along border with Serbia as number of migrants crossing into EU state rises 60-fold in three years


 A group of migrants head through Macedonia to Serbia, from where 54,000 people have crossed into Hungary this year, according to the Hungarian government. Photograph: Robert Atanasovski/AFP/GettyAFP in Budapest
Wednesday 17 June 2015 15.19 BSTLast modified on Wednesday 17 June 201515.49 BST
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Hungary has ordered the closure of the EU country’s border with Serbia and the construction of a fence along the frontier to keep out migrants, the foreign minister said.


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“The Hungarian government has instructed the interior ministry to physically close the border with Serbia,” Péter Szijjártó told reporters on Wednesday.

He said the ministry had been ordered to “begin preparation work for a four-metre-high fence along the length of Hungary’s 175km [110-mile] border with Serbia.”

“Preparation work for the fence should be completed by next Wednesday,” he said. “This decision does not break any international treaty; other countries have opted for the same solution.”

Serbia is not yet a member of the European Union, though it has started accession talks, while Hungary is part of the European Union’s passport-free Schengen zone. This means that, once in Hungary, migrants can easily travel onwards to other countries in the zone.

Last year, Hungary received more migrants per capita than any other EU country apart from Sweden, shooting up to almost 43,000 people from just 2,000 in 2012.
According to official data, 95% of them cross from Serbia.

So far this year, 54,000 migrants have entered Hungary, and the total this year is expected to be up to 130,000, according to János Lázár, Prime Minister Viktor Orbán’s chief of staff, .


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The announcement comes amid an anti-immigration campaign by Orbán’s government involving billboards with slogans such as: “If you come to Hungary, you cannot take Hungarians’ jobs.”

The cabinets of Hungary and Serbia will hold a summit early next month to tackle the issue, Orbán said last week.


http://www.theguardian.com/world/2015/jun/17/hungary-closes-border-serbia-starts-building-fence-bar-migrants