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Serb border fence eyed as obstacle to immigrants

Some 26 years after Hungary played a key role in beginning to dismantle the Berlin Wall, it is planning the first steps to erect its own fence on the Serbian border, to keep illegal immigrants out of the country.

Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade Péter Szijjártó said on June 17 at a press conference that the Hungarian government had ordered Minister of Interior Sándor Pintér to carry out the preparations for the 175-km-long and four-meter-high fence, adding that Pintér has a week’s time to do so.

Szijjártó stressed that the government is not violating any international laws with the measure. He added that prior to the decision, the Ministry of Interior conducted a survey among local farmers, and he claimed that a majority of those queried answered that illegal immigrants coming over the border constitute a serious issue.

Szijjártó said that the European Union is also trying to work out a solution for the issue of immigrants, but it seems to be a slow and lengthy process, and Hungary, as a country crucially affected by immigrants, cannot wait further.

Szijjártó promised that Hungarian officials will meet their Serbian counterparts at a Summit on July 1. “Naturally, we will give in depth information to our Serbian friends about the measure,” he said.