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Parliamentary committee supports extending state of emergency

Parliament's defence and law enforcement committee on Monday approved the government's decision to extend the state of emergency in view of the migration crisis in Hungary.

The committee also supported that the assembly should discuss the protocol on the NATO accession of Sweden and Finland.

Bence Retvari, state secretary at the interior ministry, told the committee that in 2022 over 270,000 illegal entry attempts had been recorded, far more than in previous years. He also warned that some 3.5 million refugees currently in Turkey were “potential migrants”. He insisted that migrants were increasingly aggressive, adding that last year 477 attacks against border authorities were reported from the Hungary-Serbia border, with shots fired in 104 cases.

The government announced last Tuesday that it would extend the state of emergency until September 7.

Retvari also slammed the European Union for its “failed” policy of sending migrants back to their homelands, and said a mere 7-15 percent of illegal migrants were sent back to their country of origin. The European Union should contribute to the costs of border protection in Hungary, which amount to 650 billion forints (EUR 1.7bn), he added.

Elod Novak, MP of the opposition Mi Hazank party, suggested that border guards should be allowed to use their guns “not only out of self defence but also to deter” migrants. Retvari responded that the government would not change current rules of weapon use.

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