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Mar 24, 2016

Hungary boosts security measures in wake of attacks in Brussels

Following Wednesday morning’s meeting of the Operations Unit, Prime Minister Viktor Orbán announced on Hungarian M1 television that “Hungary is maintaining all the current security measures at its borders, or raising them by one level”.

The Prime Minister said they had reviewed the security situation in response to the terrorist attacks in Brussels on Tuesday and had taken the necessary steps. The additional anti-terrorism measures put in place on Tuesday are being maintained at Level 2, as is the state of full alert ordered at the headquarters of the Counter Terrorism Centre. Police surveillance patrols have been intensified across the whole country and the state of emergency due to mass migration shall be maintained, Mr. Orbán stated. He added that he had instructed the Interior Minister to prepare for Wednesday’s Cabinet meeting all counter terrorism-related recommendations which have been the subject of political debate recently and which remain unresolved – such as the proposed amendment of the Constitution.

The prime minister also spoke about the need for Hungary to implement technological developments and join the ranks of countries with the technically best-equipped secret services. “We shall procure technology, and conduct training and education,” he stated.

The public will see a great many police everywhere, and in certain places armoured units and equipment – in particular around the airport, he said. They will also see military police units on patrol, in addition to which the authorities also need to be concerned with continuously monitoring the “equipment we use for the transmission of information,” he added.

According to Prime Minister Orbán, the target of Tuesday’s terrorist attacks was not Belgium, but the European Union, and we should therefore view them as also being directed against Hungary – although this country is fortunate that they did not take place on its territory. As Hungary forms part of the European Union, however, it must be prepared and must adopt all the measures necessary for eliminating potential risks, the prime minister said.

Counter Terrorism Centre Director General János Hajdu and National Chief of Police Károly Papp also attended the meeting.

On Tuesday morning terrorist attacks were directed against Zaventem Airport and Brussels city centre. According to the latest estimates on Wednesday afternoon, more than 30 people died and at least 230 people were injured in the attacks.