Szijjarto inaugurates ferry service on Hungary-Slovakia border
The 2.2 billion forint (EUR 5.9m) project was co-financed through European Union support, Szijjarto said at the inauguration. The service will have capacity to carry 80 pedestrian travellers or 40 pedestrians and 8 vehicles and will run 8 times a day on weekdays and 16 times a day on weekends, a ministry statement quoted Szijjarto as saying.
Having as many border crossing points as possible between Hungary and its neighbours is of strategic importance, Szijjarto said. Whereas in 2010 Hungary and Slovakia had just 22 border crossing points between them, they now have 36, owing to an agreement between Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán and former Slovak premier Robert Fico, Szijjarto said.
“The opening of every such crossing point spares us an unworthy situation,” Szijjarto said, noting that the Slovak minister had to travel an hour by car from Radvan to get to a point which he could see from across the Danube.
Szijjarto said Hungary and Slovakia will open four more crossing points this year, namely three bridges over the River Ipoly and one road crossing in the east.
Being a landlocked country makes it strategically important for Hungary to have enough border crossing points with its neighbours, Szijjarto said. This is especially true in the case of Slovakia, with which Hungary shares its longest border section, he added.
Slovakia is Hungary’s top trading partner, with bilateral trade turnover reaching a record 17 billion euros last year, Szijjarto said, adding that it was the fourth most important investment destination for Hungarian businesses.
He praised bilateral cooperation, saying Hungary and Slovakia contributed to each other’s economic growth and security.