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Hungary starts constructing ‘smart fence’

A second fence Hungary is building behind the already existing fence on the Serbian border is a “smart fence” and boasts elevated efficiency, György Bakondi, Chief Security Advisor to the Prime Minister, told right-leaning daily Magyar Hírlap today.

Bakondi spoke to the daily about a ten-kilometer test “smart fence,” where illegal border crossings have “practically” ceased to occur.  Consequently, government-friendly Magyar Idők reports, the construction of this second “line of defense” has already started with a 60-day deadline.

The so-called “smart-fence” is a “complementary second line of defense,” Hungarian online news portal reports. It is supplied with an intelligent alarm system, thermal and ordinary cameras, as well as sensors that send signals to border patrols if the fence is touched, Bakondi explained. Additionally, a ditch will be dug between the two fences.

At the end of last week it was reported that the Hungarian government had decided to build a “second line of defense” behind the current “technical border fence” erected earlier along its entire Serbian border. Cabinet Chief János Lázár justified the decision by saying a “significant number of illegal immigrants” are expected to arrive at the border this year. Therefore, the government has decided to boost the Ministry of Interiorʼs budget by HUF 38 billion, the cabinet chief said. 

Since the beginning of the year the government has been stepping up its anti-migration rhetoric, with Prime Minister Viktor Orbán having already mentioned strengthening defenses in the south, even raising the possibility of building a “wall,” although it appears this might have been a slip of the tongue.

Additionally, the government has lately been talking about “increasing pressure” on the Serbian border. According to official data, a few hundred instances are recorded at the border on a daily basis, while at the peak of the refugee crisis in 2015 – before the fence was erected – thousands of refugees entered and made their way across the country on a daily basis.