Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban told the European Union to pay €400 million to cover the costs of building a border fence to keep illegal migrants from entering Western Europe, Senior Hungarian officials confirmed Thursday.
Hungary began working on the fence in 2015, after Germany’s Chancellor Angela Merkel opened Europe for millions of migrants by suspending the Europe-wide border regulations, also known as the Dublin II.
Hungary built a border fence spanning hundreds of miles along its border with Serbia and Croatia. The barrier is equipped with electric wires, heat sensors and surveillance cameras.
Reuters news agency reports:
Prime Minister Viktor Orban will ask the EU to finance half the cost of Hungary’s border defense measures to keep out migrants, an aide said on Thursday, days before a court ruling on Hungary’s rejection of the bloc’s migrant quotas.
Migration policy has been the focus of deep division within the 28-member bloc, with hundreds of thousands of refugees arriving in Europe, largely from conflict zones in the Middle East and Africa.
Orban’s chief of staff, Janos Lazar, said Orban would write to European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker on Thursday, asking the European Commission to contribute about 400 million euros.
He said Hungary, its borders with Serbia and Croatia fortified with a fence, police and troops, “was protecting all the citizens of Europe from the flood of illegal migrants” and it was time the EU helped Hungary as it did Italy, Greece and Bulgaria.
Prime Minister Orban’s move to secure his country’s border in the wake of the migrant influx had naturally irked the European political elite and the EU bureaucrats.
France’s Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius slammed the Hungary’s border fence with Serbia, saying such measures do “not respect Europe’s common values.”
EUs spokeswoman Natasha Bertaud also criticized Hungary’s border fence. “The commission does not promote the use of fences and encourages member states to use alternative measures,” Bertaud said. “We have only recently taken down walls in Europe. We should not be putting them up.”
Unlike Hungary’s Prime Minister Orban, Europe’s political elite are no longer in the business of defending their sovereign national borders or protecting their people. They are busy running around telling everyone to “build bridges not walls.”
After having rejected the conventional wisdom of securing their borders, countries like France and Germany are now building barriers around their Christmas markets and pedestrian zones in hopes of preventing Islamic terrorists from driving through and mowing down passers-by. Hungarian people have done well for themselves by acting on their God-given common sense, instead of some chic liberal cliché.