Hungary has unveiled plans to erect a fence along its border with Serbia as part of a controversial anti-immigration drive, saying it “cannot afford to wait any longer” for the European Union to come up with a solution to the migration crisis.
“The Hungarian government has instructed the interior ministry to physically close the border with Serbia,” Péter Szijjártó, the foreign minister said on Wednesday, adding that preparations would be completed within a week. The fence will be four metres high, 110 miles long, and may employ barbed wire, officials said.
From being fenced in by the Soviet Union to fencing themselves off from the porous border with Serbia — all it took was just over a quarter-century.
Hungary is one of the main points of entry for migrants into the Schengen passport free zone and is witnessing a spike in migration, with about 57,000 people entering the country illegally so far this year, up sharply from 43,000 in all of 2014. 95 percent of those cross from Serbia, which is not a member of the EU but has started accession talks. Last year, Hungary received more refugees per capita than any other EU country apart from Sweden.
Leaching voters to the far-Right party Jobbik, the government has increasingly lost patience with efforts in Brussels to reach a solution to the surging inflows into the EU. Prime Minister Viktor Orbán has said that a proposal to distribute migrants evenly throughout the 28 member states “borders on insanity”, while Mr Szijjártó dismissed the EU’s ”rather long and time-consuming” negotiations as he announced the Hungarian move on Wednesday.
Naturally, polite society is up in arms — against the Hungarians:
But the fence plan drew immediate condemnation at home and abroad, evoking memories of the days of the Iron Curtain. The United Nations Refugee Agency said it would “place too many barriers” to the “inalienable human right” to seek asylum. “This is a scandal,” a former senior diplomat in the region told the Telegraph. “Hungary, which was the first Communist country to dismantle the Iron Curtain, is now building a new curtain on its southern border.”
Right… Too bad the “former senior diplomat” can’t tell the difference, or why it’s occurring. But the Hungarians have been on the front lines against militant Islam for centuries. They’ve seen this movie before, and know what happens to those who don’t fight back.