The four border protection bases which will serve to accommodate the members of the defence forces taking part in the protection of the southern border have been completed. The last facility was inaugurated in Hercegszántó on Monday.

Defence Minister István Simicskó told journalists on site that the bases, each of which accommodates 150 soldiers, will render the protection of Hungary’s southern border more effective.

Soldiers were earlier put up in barracks in Kaposvár and Hódmezővásárhely as well as in rented accommodation. With the completion of the bases, they can now be accommodated at locations closer to their duties, the politician said.

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He added: as a result, the units concerned can be deployed much more swiftly, should any change occur.

Austrian technical units took part in the construction of the Kelebia, Bácsalmás, Madaras and Hercegszántó bases as well as in the construction of roads, for which the Minister said thanks, and expressed hope that this good cooperation will continue. He reiterated that Hungary received assistance with the protection of the border also from the Visegrád Four earlier. The Minister said: the Central-European cooperation may also render the recognition and solution of problems more effective.

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Mr Simicskó pointed out: the defence forces help the police with the protection of the border as necessary. At present, some three thousand soldiers are serving at the border, but the defence forces are able to flexibly respond to changes.

The Minister said: pay rises will continue, and the Government set out to raise the pay of soldiers to one and a half times by 2019. In addition to pay rises, they also seek to express their appreciation to members of the defence forces through the modernisation of their individual equipment and clothing and the replacement of their fleet of vehicles. He added: it is also thanks to this that the retaining capacity of the defence forces has improved in the past six months.

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The construction of the four border protection bases of the Hungarian Defence Forces began last autumn. In the camps, soldiers are put up in shipping container homes for four, equipped with electric heating and air-conditioning. At the base consisting of some 90 shipping container homes, in addition to the residential units, there are toilet, bathroom, kitchen and laundry facilities, communal rooms and a fitness facility, and should the need arise, an additional floor may be added to the shipping container homes, in consequence of which their accommodation capacity can be doubled at any time.