Budapest: Hungary is temporarily re-introducing controls on its border with Slovenia, Hungary’s Foreign Minister Peter Szijjarto said.
The decision “was within Schengen acquis, and would remain in place as long as the situation on the Hungarian-Slovenian border required it,” Xinhua quoted Szijjarto as saying on Saturday.
He said that the government had notified the Slovenian foreign ministry and the European Commission of its decision.
Szijjarto expounded that the Schengen rules “had been put in place jointly and had to be mutually adhered to”, indirectly arguing that Slovenia did not have the right to ship refugees entering its borders through to Hungary.
“No one may enter Hungary or exit Hungary in violation of European Union (EU) rules,” he said.
The minister said the border closures were protecting Hungarians against the uncontrolled wave of migration by people who bore no identification and were not being monitored.
Hungarian government spokesman Zoltan Kovacs on Saturday cited the wave of asylum-seekers who moved into Slovenia after Hungary crossed its border with Croatia as the reason Hungary was restoring border controls on the Slovenian border.
Hungary cannot build the type of fence it introduced on the Serbian and Croatian borders vis-a-vis Slovenia, but Kovacs said the government was determined to prevent the flow of undocumented refugees.
The prime minister’s chief advisor Gyorgy Bakondi said that three busloads of refugees had approached the Slovenian-Hungarian border at Redics on Saturday but that none had crossed into Hungary.
Hungary closed down its border with Croatia at midnight on Friday.
Slovenia is a member of the European Union and of the Schengen zone, meaning that the Hungarian-Slovenian border qualifies as an internal EU border. Under EU rules, countries may exceptionally re-introduce border controls at its internal borders for a period of no more than 30 days (which may be prolonged under conditions established by the code) or for the foreseeable duration of a serious threat.
Since the start of the year, 389,779 migrants were registered as having entered Hungary and of them 176,404 had filed applications for asylum.
First Published | 18 October 2015 9:42 AM