Report: Fidesz could close southern borders

History

Hungaryʼs ruling Fidesz party intends to draft legislation that would effectively close its southern borders to illegal migrants, following Prime Minister Viktor Orbánʼs criticism of the European Union proposal for migrant quotas which he said was "bordering on insanity", Reuters reported today citing a Fidesz politician.

Fidesz Caucus Leader Antal Rogán said on Sunday that by the end of May, 50,000 migrants had crossed Hungaryʼs borders illegally, compared with the 43,000 reported in 2014, according to Reuters.

Rogán reportedly said that 15,000 of these immigrants may leave Hungary but soon migrate back, and therefore "urgent steps" needed to be taken.

"Fideszʼ parliamentary faction is considering drawing up a bill and producing a proposal to close the southern border by certain legal means," Rogán told Hungarian state-owned Kossuth radio. "In practice this would mean that we would pass a law saying that those entering Hungary from a safe country, from a safe transit country, cannot apply for political asylum here."

Most asylum-seekers came to Hungary from Kosovo, Afghanistan and Syria last year, Reuters said, adding that Rogán did not specify when the legislation would be drawn up.

Reuters cited a UNHCR regional spokeswoman saying that under international law, which Hungary has also signed on to, every individual has the right to file an asylum claim. "I donʼt think itʼs worth getting into a debate about third countries or anything like that because in every case itʼs the facts of each individual thatʼs important," Kitty McKinsey added.

The Hungarian government recently launched a national consultation on immigrants, backed by the installation of billboards with Hungarian messages such as “If you come to Hungary you cannot take away the jobs of Hungarians”. An anti-campaign in reaction to the government’s billboards has just raised more than HUF 11 mln.

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