Oct 02, 2016

Hungary spends over 300 million euros on Schengen border fence

The cost of the border fence has been footed entirely by Hungary, without support from the EU, despite being hailed as the 'wall that saved Europe'

Hungary's razor-wire border fence has been hailed as the 'savior of Schegen' at a cost of over 300 million euros, it has been revealed.

According to the UK's Daily Express newspaper, the cost of the fence has been footed entirely by Hungary despite being the 'wall that saved Europe'.

The Hungarian government set out to end the chaos of the 2015 migrant crisis when as many as 4,000 asylum seekers and migrants crossed into the country every day.

After four months of witnessing the huge influx the government issued an order for the building of a physical barrier to stop illegal migrants in their tracks.

And it came in the shape of a 175 kilometer razor-wire fence which dramatically slowed down the flow of migrants and allowed politicians to reassure citizens of the European Union.

Figures from Hungary show there were up to 4,000 people per day entering in July 2015, but in July 2016 just 330 were legally admitted.

Although thousands are attempting to cross the border they are being arrested and taken back to Hungary using a ‘pushback law’.

Following the erection of the fence, along with the cost of soldiers, dogs and pepper-spray guards revealed that the cost has risen to more than 300 million euros - and the European Union is allowing Hungary, a relatively poor nation, to foot the majority of the bill.

Government spokesman Zoltán Kovács said aside from the mandatory contribution through already established EU funds - the Union has not paid a penny.

“We have spent something close to 300m euros reinforcing the border and they have paid nothing," he said.

“So if we are talking about paying this, any kind of contribution on behalf of the European Union, apart from the routine funding of around two or three million euros.

“The extra measures we have introduced - nothing at all has come from the European institutions," he continued.

“We are not doing it for the money. We heard the term ‘flexible solidarity’ in Bratislava," he added. 

“Why don’t you set you proper measurements of solidarity? It is not just us that says so but Bulgaria, Croatia and others." he said, adding that “Do you consider those efforts as contribution?”

Today, Hungarians will vote in a referendum on whether or not they want to accept so called ‘migrant quotas’ from the European Union.

The government called the vote over the quota system which would distribute asylum seekers across 28 member states.

Read more here.