Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán said Friday (26 August) a second fence line will be built on the country’s southern border with Serbia, capable of stopping any new wave of migrants toward the EU.
Orbán said “technical plans were under way” for a “more sturdy defensive system” to reinforce the existing razorwire-topped fence it built last September along the 175-kilometre-long (110-mile) frontier.
“A new fence line will be built there with the most modern technical equipment,” he said during an interview on public radio without giving more details.
“The border cannot be defended with flowers and cuddly toys, the border can be defended with police, soldiers and weapons,” he added.
The new barrier will be “capable of stopping several hundreds of thousands” of people that could show up at the border should Turkey’s migration policy change, Orbán said.
In an interview earlier this week with a Brazilian newspaper Orbán said Hungary must prepare in case Ankara carries through with “threats” to let a new wave of migrants head toward the European Union.
“Hungary’s borders are the gates of Europe and we will defend our borders 100%,” he said.
Last year around 400,000 migrants crossed Hungary on their way to western and northern Europe, but less than 18,000 have entered Hungary in 2016, according to official data.
Earlier this month, Budapest said an extra 3,000 police will be recruited to bolster the existing 3,500-strong contingent patrolling the border.
The moves to reinforce the border defences come weeks before Hungarians vote in a referendum October 2 over the EU’s plan to redistribute migrants among member countries, an idea fiercely opposed by Orbán .