Hungary has begun building a high-tech second fence on the border with Serbia complete with night cameras and heat and movement sensors to keep out migrants, the government said on Monday.
Prime Minister Viktor Orban, an admirer of US President Donald Trump and who is also quoted calling immigration “poison”, announced plans for the three-metre (10-feet) high fence last August.
It will reinforce an existing barrier erected in 2015 at the height of Europe’s migrant crisis along the 175-kilometre-long (110-mile-long) frontier in southern Hungary.
The new fence will have sensors every 10 to 15 centimetres that trigger alarms, Orban’s chief security advisor Gyorgy Bakondi told the Magyar Hirlap newspaper on Monday.
A government spokesman confirmed for the pro-government daily Magyar Idok that work had begun, with columns erected close to the Kelebia border crossing.
The newspaper said that the work was being carried out by prisoners, who in November completed a 10.3 kilometres (6.4 miles) long test section.
Bakondi said that this part “exceeded expectations” and led to a complete stoppage in illegal border crossing there.
The new barrier will be completed within two months, before the summer months, when an increase in the number of migrants attempting to cross, according to Magyar Idok is expected.
Orban’s government hopes that the fence will reduce the numbers of troops and police officers required to patrol Hungary’s border with Serbia.
In 2015, over 400,000 migrants trekked through Hungary, a border of the EU’s passport-free Schengen zone, toward northern Europe.
After the first fence line was completed in September that year, and another one along the Croatian border a month later, the number of migrants entering Hungary slowed to a trickle. However, the Hungarian government claims that dozens of migrants are still caught trying to cross the fence every day.
(Digital Journal, 27.02.2017)
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