Hungary to Send Army to Borders to Cope with Migrant Influx

EU | September 4, 2015, Friday // 20:15|  views

Migrants cross the Erzsebet bridge in Budapest, Hungary, 4 September 2015. Several thousand migrants left the Keleti train station this afternoon heading for Germany on foot. Photo EPA/BGNES

The Hungarian parliament on Friday adopted emergency legislation to stem an influx in migrants and refugees crossing its southern border with Serbia in an attempt to reach western Europe, AFP reported.

The new legislation will allow army and police to operate detention centres in registration camps and assist border guards in registering asylum applications.

Migrants trying to climb over the razor-wire fence built along Hungary’s border with Serbia will face three-year jail terms, according to the new legislation. Another measure aimed at halting the surge in the number of migrants crossing into Hungary is the creation of transit zones at the borders where people will stay while the authorities are processing their asylum applications, according to AFP.

The new legislation was adopted as about 300 migrants broke out of the reception center in Roszke, on the border with Serbia, and are being pursued by police. Hungarian police said another 2,300 migrants still inside were threatening to break out too.

Hungary’s state news agency MTI said that dozens more migrants had fled another camp in the town of Bicske, 35 kilomtres west of Budapest.

Hundreds of migrants, including Syrian refugees, were stranded on a train in Bicske for a second day on Friday, demanding passage to Germany. They left Budapest on Thursday believing they were heading for Austria and Germany. Riot police halted the train at Bicske and ordered the migrants to the nearby camp for processing asylum seekers. Scuffles with police broke out when the migrants refused to get off the train.

Meanwhile, hundreds of migrants stuck at a Budapest’s Keleti train station for several days have set off on foot, saying they plan to walk 240 kilometres west to Austria, according to BBC.

Hungary’s Prime Minister Viktor Orban said his government was defending the EU’s Schengen zone of passport-free travel.

"The reality is that Europe is threatened by a mass inflow of people, many tens of millions of people could come to Europe," Reuters quoted Orban as saying on Friday. "Now we talk about hundreds of thousands but next year we will talk about millions and there is no end to this."

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Tags: Hungary, migrants, Orban, Roszke, Serbia, Austria, Keleti, Budapest, train, camp, border, Asylum, Germany, Bicske, fence, army, police


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