Following the Balkan states’ decisions to either close or partially shut down their borders, Hungary has decided to send more troops and police to guard its frontiers. Budapest announced it is prepared to build a wall on its border with Romania within ten days if necessary. EURACTIV Romania reports.
Croatia, FYRO Macedonia, Serbia and Slovenia have all now imposed complete or partial closures of their borders, effectively shutting the so-called Balkan route. Essentially, those countries are now implementing the principles of Schengen, asking for a valid visa and passport, despite most of them not being members of the teetering passport-free travel area, as reported by Spiegel Online.
Hungary’s Minister of the Interior, Sándor Pintér, responded Wednesday (9 March) in a press conference, saying, “As a result of the ongoing migration, we have declared a state of crisis in the whole country.”
That enables the mobilisation of an additional 1,500 soldiers to the borders.
“Hungary is strengthening its border controls,” said Pintér, adding that the increased presence of military and police personnel was a precautionary measure, due to the uncertainty surrounding what will happen next with migrants currently waiting to cross into the Central European country.
So far, there have been no indications that there would be any incidents on the border with Romania, but the minister added that his government would be ready to raise a fence there within ten days if necessary.
Hungary already has a track record on this issue, having already erected fences on its frontiers with Serbia and Croatia last year.
FYRO Macedonia was the latest to join the Balkan barricade, insisting that border crossings will now only be possible for individuals with valid passports and visas.
Current estimates put the number of people stranded in Greece as a result at 36,000 people. This figure rises every hour as more people arrive on European soil.