- 23 Jul 2015 9:00 AM
János Lázár said: the galvanised fence will be built to a depth of 1.5 metres below the ground and to a height of three metres above ground, at a distance of 2.5 metres from the Serbian-Hungarian border. Seventy-centimetre NATO wiring will additionally be installed on top of the border fence, which will be supported by a set of pillars on the Hungarian side.
On a section of some 30 to 40 kilometres which is harder for people to penetrate a simpler structure will be built, he added.
An area of 980 thousand square metres in private ownership will be used for the construction of the temporary border fence to be erected on a section of 175 kilometres within the shortest possible time. Owners will receive a one-time payment as compensation, and will be paid a usage fee at the rate of HUF 160-170 per square metre, the Minister told the press.
Land owners may contest the relevant decision of the Government Office before a court of law, but this will not hinder the construction works.
Regarding the temporary border fence, the Minister pointed out: the clearing of the undergrowth, the preparatory soil works, and the refurbishment of roads have already begun.
There will be signs posted on the fence to indicate the locations of the nearest legal border crossing points, and therefore nothing prevents genuine political refugees from entering the country in compliance with the regulations. “It is wiser to enter Hungary through the door than over the wall”, the Minister said, remarking: everyone must accept that “we are conservative people; we insist that if you want to enter someone’s house, you must knock first, rather than break down the wall”.
By the Minister’s account, the number of illegal border-crossers is increasing continuously, and may reach 300 thousand by the end of the year. In the past few months, more people have arrived in Europe via the Balkans than in Italy from the direction of the Mediterranean, Mr Lázár said, adding: Hungary has become the country most at risk.
In answer to a question, Mr Lázár also pointed out: human trafficking is only possible with Hungarian-Austrian-German-Macedonian and Balkans cooperation. Wherever similar border fences were erected in Europe, the number of migrants attempting to enter the country illegally has fallen to one tenth to one seventh, he added.
In answer to a question regarding the case of the Szeged student who was assaulted because her boyfriend was thought to be an illegal migrant, the Minister said: the Government condemns crimes of this kind, and they must be punished.
By the Minister’s account, things like this happen in places where immigration emerges, regardless of whether the case was in any way connected to migration specifically.
The Government is also discussing the schedule under which to accommodate those arriving in Hungary temporarily in tents erected outside residential areas.
Mr Lázár further told the press that the Government is committed to achieving that illegal border-crossing should qualify as a criminal offence. The Cabinet is in the process of discussing the specific proposal of the Minister of Justice.
The Minister reiterated that the legislative package which will prevent anyone from abusing asylum will enter into force on the first of August.
The cabinet members attending today’s government meeting were given an account of the Monday meeting of the Interior Ministers of EU Member States. The Government concluded that the Minister of Interior and the Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade successfully achieved that the European Commission and its competent commissioners have finally laid down in the negotiating documents of the body that Hungary is a country which is very much at risk, and is unable to receive anyone against the pressure it is currently enduring, the Minister stressed.
Hungary also protects Hungarian nationals in Ukraine
The Hungarian Government must protect every Hungarian citizen with any means necessary, and the question justifiably arises in Transcarpathia whether the Hungarians living there are safe, the Minister heading the Prime Minister’s Office said in response to the comment that the Ukrainian Foreign Minister summoned Hungary’s Ambassador to Kiev due to statements made in Hungary regarding the activities of the Hungarian secret services in Ukraine.
Mr Lázár pointed out at his press conference held during the break of the cabinet meeting on Tuesday: in places where there is shooting in the streets, the question justifiably arises whether the Hungarians living there are safe. He said: Ambassador Ernő Keskeny is well aware of Hungarian interests.
The Hungarian Government has a vested interest in forging peace and security, as well as in the maintenance of the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Ukraine, the Minister added. He also highlighted that Hungary has acquired 783 thousand new Hungarian citizens from beyond the borders in recent years.
In answer to the question whether the Hungarian party conducted any secret service operations in Ukraine without the country’s knowledge, Mr Lázár said: the neighbouring countries should get used to the idea that the Hungarian State protects every Hungarian citizen world-wide, and this is the duty of every one of its organisational units.
The Minister was also questioned about the investigation related to cigarette smuggling on the Hungarian-Ukrainian border.
The National Tax and Customs Administration and the Minister of Interior must provide information on the possible involvement of customs officers. There is a border-crossing station where an entire border policing unit has been fired, but this is not the same point that was raised by representatives of the Ukrainian State, the Minister said. He pointed out: there are customs officers who have committed crimes; however, it does not follow from this that any of them would have had anything to do with the shooting in Munkács.
The head of the Prime Minister’s Office was also questioned about the departure of the head of the National Tax and Customs Administration. He said that Ildikó Vida has offered to tender her resignation several times since last autumn.
The Prime Minster has never accepted professional reasons, and while he would have accepted personal reasons, he requested the President not to leave her post until the implementation of the reforms in her office, he added.
Regarding the appointment of the new president of the tax authority, the Minister said: there is no reason to rush things; they are looking for new players better suited to the new content, the new procedures of taxation and the new organisational structure.
Concerning the indemnification of the customers of the brokerage firm Quaestor, Mr Lázár said: everyone will be indemnified on the basis of the widely known rules – up to EUR 20,000, minus 10 per cent excess; the necessary means are available.
The limit of EUR 100,000 becomes a feasible option when it is approved by the Constitutional Court, the Minister highlighted with reference to the fact that OTP Bank contested the decision.
State Secretary for Government Communications András Giró-Szász said in answer to a question that according to the data of the research institute Tárki, the number of Hungarians working abroad is estimated to be between 350-370 thousand, which is 60-80 thousand higher than the data recorded in 2010.
Any other claim, whether originating from the opposition or individuals who call themselves experts, which cites a number closer to half a million either reflects a lack of expertise, or is intentional distortion, he stressed. The State Secretary further told the press: the individuals concerned do not leave with their entire families, and in 2014 alone, they transferred EUR 4.5 billion back to Hungary.
The Minister and the State Secretary will next hold a press conference regarding the decisions of the Government in August.
Source: Prime Minister's Office