- 19 Oct 2015 9:00 AM
Legal entry continues to remain possible on the Hungarian-Croatian border as well, the Government Spokesperson stressed.
He pointed out: while this is not the best, the number one solution in Europe today, the second best solution was necessary in the interest of the protection of the Hungarian and the European borders.
Mr Kovács told the press: as of zero hundred hours today, Hungary has introduced the border control and border closure mechanism – which has already proved its “worth and usefulness” on the Serbian-Hungarian border section – on the Croatian-Hungarian border section as well.
“This means that we have sealed the green border, the natural borders, but the border crossing stations remain open, subject to more stringent controls; in other words, the option of legal entry is available to everyone”, Mr Kovács said.
Mr Kovács highlighted: „this measure was necessary because the EU summit in Brussels was still unable to decide upon the implementation of the number one step, namely, the protection of the EU’s external, primary borders.”
“While the border between Hungary and Croatia is also a Schengen border, the border section which is in need of genuine protection and surveillance is situated in Greece”, he pointed out, adding: “this delay does not allow us for the moment to attempt to bar the causes and sources of the flood and pressure of illegal migration in the nearest possible location”.
The Hungarian Government has taken the measures with which it is able to protect the security of the Hungarian and European people and the interests of Europe, Mr Kovács stressed.
György Bakondi, Chief Advisor of the Prime Minister, informed the press that exactly the same border policing solution was deployed on the Hungarian-Croatian border as on the Serbian border section.
He highlighted: the Croatian border section is almost twice as long as the Serbian section which presented a major logistic challenge to those who participated in the construction of the border fence.
With this measure, the status under law of a number of acts will change, and the illegal crossing and the vandalisation of the border fence will qualify as crimes, he indicated, stressing that the border closure was introduced on the Croatian border section after wide-ranging international consultations and due preparations.
“We have every reason to hope and to believe that the introduction of the border closure on this section will have as positive an effect as that which we experienced on the Serbian section”, Mr Bakondi said.
He further told the press that the news coming from Croatia is “somewhat contradictory”; they will wait until they receive authentic information, on the basis of which they will decide whether any further measures need to be implemented.
In answer to the question as to whether those who arrive at the Hungarian-Croatian border shortly before midnight will be allowed to cross the border, Mr Kovács said that they will be allowed through, but “the option of crossing the green border will be barred” to those who arrive after midnight.
In answer to a question regarding the expected developments, the Government Spokesperson said: they have heard several, contradictory versions from the Croatian party, and it is not for the Hungarian Government to pass comments on these manifestations, he remarked.
Mr Kovács stressed: the Thursday night EU summit also confirmed that all EU regulations continue to remain in force, and it is everyone’s duty to observe them, with special regard to the Schengen procedure which “regulates in very clear and certain terms when and how the territory of the European Union may be entered”.
Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade Péter Szijjártó announced on Friday afternoon, after the meeting of the national security cabinet, that Hungary will close the Hungarian-Croatian green border as of midnight.
In one month more than 80,000 migrants arrived in Zákány from Croatia via the green border, from where the illegal border-crossers were transported by rail to the registration points by the western border.
The first group of some one thousand individuals arrived on 18 September, and every day since then thousands of people – accompanied by the police – have walked from the border to the nearby railway station. Migrants were transported in groups of 1,000-1,500 by train from Botovo in Croatia to the Hungarian border.
On Friday more migrants arrived in Zákány than recorded on previous days, almost six thousand. The last group crossed the border just before midnight.
MTI photo: Varga György