Hungary’s attempts to stop immigrants come under growing international criticism.
The Hungarian authorities’ steps to stop the inflow of migrants on its Serbian border do not seem to work. On the contrary, they generate growing tensions, as international criticism mounts. The UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon views the conduct of Hungarian forces as unacceptable, and calls on the authorities to show compassion for the refugees. This statement comes after hundreds of immigrants protested on Wednesday against the closing of the Hungarian-Serbian border, and Budapest responded with tear gas and water cannons. Serbia’s PM Aleksandar Vucic accused neighbouring Hungary of being “brutal and non-European” and urged the EU to step in.
In Romania, politicians have also condemned Budapest’s approach to the refugee crisis, as well as its plans to build a fence on the common border, similar to the one on the Serbian border. Over the past few days the Romanian PM Victor Ponta has criticized harshly the Hungarian response to the migration issue, which has angered the officials in Brussels. Ponta argued that what Hungary does comes against the European principles and fail to solve the problem.
Victor Ponta: “Unfortunately, the conduct of the Hungarian officials has nothing to do with the concept of Europe. Fences, dogs, guns, it looks like 1930s Europe. This is something that most European leaders believe as well, and if it upsets the Hungarian officials is of little consequence to me.”
According to the Foreign Minister Bogdan Aurescu, building a fence on the Hungarian-Romanian border is an unacceptable approach of the relations between two EU countries.
Bogdan Aurescu: “It is an attempt by the Hungarian party to drag us into an artificial dispute, probably in order to reduce Hungary’s perceived self-isolation within the EU, generated by its own actions.”
The co-president of the National Liberal Party, in opposition, Alina Gorghiu, says a razor-wire fence is no way to strengthen border security, and criticized the measure taken by Budapest. The head of the Democratic Union of Ethnic Hungarians in Romania, Kelemen Hunor, argues however that the fence will not affect the free movement of European citizens.
Kelemen Hunor: “This solution is not meant to divide Romania and Hungary, it is not taken against Romanians or against European citizens. This fence is designed to stop the immigrants who enter a European state illegally.”
Meanwhile, Hungary announced plans to build fences along the border with Croatia as well, after a growing number of migrants switched to this route in order to get to Germany.