Hungary's border fence – Photo: wikipedia

Bakondi: Migration pressure constant in winter

The pressure of migration remained constant during the winter period, and all arrivals, without exception, reached the borders with the help of people smugglers, the prime minister's chief domestic security advisor said on Friday.

Gyorgy Bakondi told public television that large, well-functioning and well-financed criminal gangs were fighting each other to grasp the spoils of people smuggling.

This year so far, 24,500 border violators reached Hungary’s borders through the Balkans route, he said. Criminal proceedings have been launched against 230 human smugglers and 2,500 are currently held in Hungarian prisons. They will be expelled from the country once they serve their sentences, he added.

Besides routes through North Macedonia and Serbia, in recent weeks migrant routes through Bosnia-Herzegovina, Croatia and Slovenia have come to the fore, he said.

Bakondi told public radio on Friday that the European Union had barely participated in financing border protection tasks in the past eight years. Despite recent statements about the need to protect external borders and plans to finance the acquisition of certain technical equipment, the EU would still enable masses of people of unknown identity to enter EU territory, and it would be impossible to expel them even if funds were flowing, Bakondi said.

If the proportion of migrants reached 10 percent of the population, serious demographic, social, security, economic and political consequences could be expected, he added. Masses of people in Tunisia and Libya are ready to set off for Europe, only waiting for the smuggling boats to arrive, and nearly five million illegal migrants live in Turkey, a number that may further increase as a result of the recent earthquakes, he said.


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