Hungary Completes Second Anti-Migrant Fence

“Hungary is defending its border, and the Schengen zone at the same time,” Karoly Kontrat, an interior ministry state secretary, told a press conference in Roszke beside the fence on Hungary’s southern frontier.
More than 400,000 migrants passed through Hungary in 2015 before a first fence was built and a deal between the European Union and Turkey and other measures dramatically slowed down the influx.
But Budapest says that the new two-metre (6.5-foot) high fence, an external border of Europe’s Schengen zone, is to prepare for an expected increase in numbers later this year and a possible breakdown of the EU-Turkey accord.
Kontrat also said the bloc had failed to set up hotspots for asylum-seekers in Libya or turn back boats carrying migrants headed for Europe from Africa.
The fence, made of NATO-standard welded wire, was erected by 700 prisoners.
Prime Minister Viktor Orban said in a radio interview Friday that the strengthened border fence system would “ensure Hungary’s security for a long time”.
Orban, who has called immigration “poison” and a “Trojan horse of terrorism”, has been criticised by Brussels and rights groups in Hungary and abroad for his tough anti-migrant line.
A law enabling the automatic detention of all asylum-seekers entering the country in “transit-zone” camps — people can leave only if they return to Serbia — comprising shipping containers came into force last month.
Separately this week the EU launched legal action against Hungary over legislation that critics say targets the Central European University in Budapest, a highly respected postgraduate university founded by billionaire George Soros.
Orban on Friday called the Hungarian-born Soros, 86, who funds myriad non-governmental organisations throughout the region, a “public enemy” seeking to undermine Europe by promoting immigration.