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Feb 14, 2020

PM Orbán warns of increasing migration pressure on Hungary's southern border

The prime minister said more than 5,000 migrants have attempted to enter Hungary illegally so far this year, a lot of organized migrant groups were also coming to the border.

Prime Minister Viktor Orbán has warned of increasing migration pressure on Hungary's southern border.

Speaking at the Hungarian-Serbian border crossing near the town of Röszke with his Slovak counterpart Peter Pellegrini, PM Orbán said there is an expected rise in the number of organized migrant groups attempting to enter the country as the weather improves.

According to MTI, the prime minister said 95 percent of the migrants arriving at the border were military-age men. ”It’s forbidden to say so in Europe, but this is an organized invasion,” he said.

PM Orbán said Hungary’s border was not closed, arguing that if someone wanted to enter Hungary’s territory, they were free to follow the proper procedure. He said those who opt for this method have to wait in the transit zone for the end of the legal procedure.

The prime minister also highlighted that groups of migrants had recently tried to break through the border fence, noting that at one point warning shots had to be fired. He said Hungary’s secret service was monitoring the situation and had a clear view of “how the movement of migrants is being organized”.

PM Orbán said Hungary's fence was also protecting Slovakia’s border.

The prime minister said the reason he had invited Pellegrini to inspect the border with him was that there had been a sharp rise in the number of illegal border crossings recently. More than 5,000 migrants have attempted to enter Hungary illegally so far this year, he said, a lot of organized migrant groups were also coming to the border.

PM Orbán said there were some 100,000 migrants currently on their way to Europe via the Balkan route and if Hungary let them, they would enter the country and even reach Slovakia.

The prime minister expressed his gratitude to the Slovak government for the assistance it has provided to Hungary with its border protection efforts. The pair also strengthened an agreement under which Slovakia will be prepared to assist Hungary again if migration pressure were to rise on its border.

Photo credit: 24.hu