Hungary’s foreign minister says the razor-wire fence on its border with Serbia is needed to secure the European Union’s external border and will remain as long as large numbers of migrants keep trying to enter Hungary.
Minister Peter Szijjarto told The Associated Press on Wednesday that “only a physical obstacle” could help Hungary protect its border as long as migrants were able to pour into fellow EU member Greece and then make their way north.
He urged the EU to send forces to help Greece control the influx, to which Hungary would make a “massive contribution” as Hungary considers Greece is not doing enough to guard the country’s borders and prevent migrants and refugees arriving in central Europe.
Szijjarto said those arriving from Serbia and applying for asylum in Hungary would be sent back to Serbia if their claims are rejected.
Here is the response of the Greek Foreign Ministry:
“We find it difficult to witness either the wave of statements from Hungarian officials against our country or, and mainly, what the UN Secretary General characterizes as the “unacceptable” conduct of Hungary’s forces of order against the refugees, including infants, who are living through the drama and misery of war.
The use of violence and armed patrols, and the driving of innocent victims of war into Balkan minefields do not constitute conduct appropriate to a member state of the European Union.
It is obvious that the burden of the current, unprecedented refugee crisis cannot be shouldered by one country alone – in this case, Greece, which is doing everything humanly possible. These urgent circumstance require humanity, cooperation, solidarity and coordination with the other European partners, and not brutal cynicism, provocative statements, the use of violence, or a return to Cold-War walls.”