Refugee crisis: Hungary shuts down main crossing with Serbia, Germany and Austria reintroduce border checks


Hungarian border police and soldiers stand guard next to a barb-wire fence, near the Serbia-Hungary border. EU ministers are meeting to discuss easing the burden on front-line states. (Elvis Barukcic/AFP)

ARA News 

GENEVA – Hungarian authorities closed a railway track that has been used by thousands of refugees flocking to the European Union on foot. The right-wing government in Budapest strives to tackle with Europe’s worst refugee crisis in decades. 

On Monday, dozens of Hungarian security forces were deployed across the track on the border with Serbia. 

Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban, known as a fierce opponent to the influx of refugees into Europe, said that many refugees would face deportation under the new rules.

In July, Orban’s government considered neighboring Serbia to be a “safe country” for refugees. 

“In such a case, if someone is a refugee, we will ask them whether they have submitted an asylum request in Serbia,” Orban told state channel TV2. “If they had not done so, given that Serbia is a safe country, they will be rejected.” 

Orban has earlier stressed that Hungarian border police is defending the country and Europe by securing the border with Serbia.  

Speaking to his police officers, Orban said: “You have to defend the country’s borders while at the same time you have to protect our way of life. You are the defenders of our culture, our way of life and our sovereignty.”

In the meantime, Germany, Austria and Slovakia re-introduced border checks amid increasing security measures in order to cope with the ongoing refugee crisis in Europe.

“The new border checks are not aimed at keeping those fleeing violence in their homeland out of Germany, but to produce a more orderly flow of people,” German Vice Chancellor Sigmar Gabriel said on Monday. 

“Everyone who applies for asylum on German soil is allowed to stay here until a decision is reached. We are not changing that,” Gabriel said in a statement.

By: Lorin Silo 

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