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Sep 05, 2017

Hungary's border fence is not only protecting the country but also Western Europe, says foreign minister

“Hungary has incurred over 800 million euros in costs and expenses relating to border protection tasks, and we are justified in expecting the EU to refund part of this expenditure based on solidarity," Hungary's foreign minister said

Hungary's foreign minister has said that the country makes an effort to protect its borders to defend the country and Western Europe but does it because border protection is an EU obligation and is prescribed by the Schengen regulation.

Péter Szijjártó, minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade, said the fence is a good thing because it is only possible to prevent the daily inflow of tens of thousands of immigrants via physical protection. “The fence is the heart and center of defense," he said.

“The EC’s Commissioner for Migration Policy and former Greek Minister of Defense Dimitris Avramopoulos also defended the construction of the security fence along the Turkish-Greek border at the time, but these days he is criticizing the Hungarian fence," Minister Szijjártó said.

“A budget of 1.5 billion euros was earmarked to assist Greece with handling illegal immigration, while Italy and Bulgaria are receiving 740 million euros and 260 million euros, respectively, for this purpose, meaning countries in the front line do indeed receive funding based on solidarity," he added.

“Hungary has incurred over 800 million euros in costs and expenses relating to border protection tasks, and we are justified in expecting the EU to refund part of this expenditure based on solidarity," he said. Security and solidarity “should go hand-in-hand”, one cannot exist without the other, Minister Szijjártó said.

“People who do not equate border protection with solidarity do not understand Europe’s current situation, and solidarity that refuses to take into account border protection is not true solidarity," he said.

The minister added that the resettlement quota system is “nonsense”, because it is nonsense to ask a country to exacerbate a phenomenon that undermines its own security on its own territory in the name of solidarity, he explained.

The security fence along the southern border is protecting Hungary and Western Europe, and accordingly “we are justified to ask for solidarity on the part of our Western friends," he concluded.