On the one hand, you’ve got to admire their truly hard work and determination. I mean, while Europe faces war on a scale not seen since the Second World War, those tireless and intrepid New York Times correspondents find the time to hang out on the Hungarian-Romanian border to find that front-page story – or, more importantly, dig up a little dirt on Hungary.
Yes, while war rages in Ukraine, and Hungary is taking in hundreds of thousands of refugees and carrying out the largest humanitarian aid effort the country has ever delivered, the NYT sent a couple of its battle-hardened correspondents to the border to get the real scope.
One of them sent a question to the Hungarian National Police, claiming that they had received reports that Hungarian border guards were demanding payment from Ukrainian nationals transiting from Romania to Hungary.
“My colleague and I were at the border yesterday speaking with people,” the reporter wrote, “and we are aware that your agents are under tremendous pressure with huge lines of people trying to get in. Has your department heard of such activities? If so, what corrective measures has the department taken to address this issue?”
To which the Police headquarters replied:
“The Police unequivocally rejects any unsubstantiated allegations that police officers in charge are demanding money from those fleeing the war from the direction of Romania through Hungary. The Police performs its duties in accordance with the Fundamental Law of Hungary. Police measures shall be taken in accordance with the principles of legality, professionalism and proportionality.”
If there’s a complaint, it shall be investigated, the reply goes on to say, but they are not aware of any such incidents.
Among the countless stories out there, this is one the NYT reporters decided to pursue.