Hungary's border fence – Photo: wikipedia

Bakondi: Subotica migrant shootout ‘stark warning’

The recent shooting between migrant groups in Subotica (Szabadka), near the Hungarian border, represents a "stark warning" that the problem posed by illegal migration is escalating, the prime minister's chief domestic security advisor has said.

The shooting happened after people smuggling rings got into a fight about how they should divide up a section of the Hungary-Serbia border amongst themselves, Gyorgy Bakondi told Demokrata magazine in an interview published on Wednesday. The people smugglers even fired at Serbian police officers, which has escalated the problem at the border, he said.

Citing projections, Bakondi said even more waves of migrants are expected to arrive at the border.

This is connected to the war in Ukraine, he said, arguing that Ukrainian grain stuck in the Black Sea ports could lead to a famine in places like west Africa’s Sahel region, which people are already leaving in significant numbers.

Also, terrorist groups could find new recruits among the migrants arriving in Europe, Bakondi warned. “We really are talking about people who are hungry and therefore irritated and more open to resorting to terrorism than those who came in the past,” he said.

“People smuggling has become a well-organised area of crime,” Bakondi said, blaming Western politicians who he said “treat this phenomenon as a forgivable crime”.

Bakondi pointed out that some 109,000 people attempted to cross Hungary’s border illegally in the first half of the year, compared with 46,000 in 2021. The number of people smugglers apprehended has also nearly doubled since last year, he added.

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