Hungary is not willing to open its borders to refugees, while the situation with the refugees in Serbia, who are not housed at reception centres, remains extremely difficult.
In an interview for the German magazine Welt, Hungarian Foreign Minister, Péter Szijjártó has criticized Germany for wanting to continue exercising tougher control of its borders which was supposed to end in February, and which was carried out initially due to a stream of refugees pouring into the country. He also said that that was very detrimental to the Hungarian economy.
However, despite the rather dramatic situation with the refugees on the Serbian – Hungarian border, Szijjártó says that Hungary is sticking to its guns, so to speak, and refusing to open up its borders.
“If they want to receive help fast, refugees need to register and go to the reception centres in Serbia. Many have chosen not to do that because their end goal is to apply for an asylum in other countries. We cannot consider having masses of people marching through safe countries and picking in which country they want to live in as a basic human right. Hungary has always been clear about this. We are not going to allow illegal movement through our country”, the Hungarian Foreign Minister said.
In 2016, 29,430 migrants applied for asylum in Hungary with the majority of them continuing their journey to Western Europe. According to the official data, only 467 migrants were housed in reception centres in Hungary in December 2016.
There are currently 7,600 refugees in Serbia, with available accommodation for only 6,000 people. Women and children have priority when it comes to be housed in Serbia.
According to Europol, Serbia is the main hub for human trafficking on the Balkan route which is now closed. Ever since the borders have been officially closed, well-organized crime gangs have been smuggling refugees to Austria and Germany. Many refugees have run out of money to pay for the rest of their journey and there were stranded by the smugglers.
(Deutsche Welle, 14.01.2017)
This post is also available in: Italiano