“Last year’s figures show that, although to a lesser extent than in 2015, the Hungarian-Serbian border is still under permanent pressure”, the Chief Security Advisor to the Prime Minister said.

György Bakondi emphasised: “There have been 1142 attempts to illegally enter the country along the Hungarian-Serbian stretch of the border so far this year, which is at least the same order of magnitude as last year, despite the cold weather and the fact that countries to the south are implementing more intensive protection”.

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“The European security situation worsened significantly in 2015 and 2016 in view of acts of terrorism, but the Hungarian Government took timely action, as a result of which the Hungarian internal security situation is satisfactory”, he stressed.

Mr. Bakondi explained that Hungary had put forward consistent proposals, several of which have been realised, as a result of which they are enjoying continuously increasing support. “We do not agree with European endeavours such as relocation, measures to make immigration easier, the planned expansion of the EU’s spheres of competence and the maintenance of internal border controls”, he pointed out. “Instead, the external Schengen borders must be closed, law and order must be restored with regard to border controls, and hotspots must be established outside Europe”, he said.

“Last year, significantly more people than previously attempted to enter the country hidden on trains; while there were just 111 such cases in 2015, last year over a thousand people were apprehended on trains”, the Chief Security Advisor said. “There were fewer attempts to enter the country illegally along the Romanian and Ukrainian stretches of the border than would have justified the need for special measures”, he continued, adding “The weather has been a significant complicating factor since mid-December, but the military personnel and police serving along the border are performing their duties in exemplary fashion”.

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“Government decisions concerning an increase in manning levels and the further reinforcement of the border are in process, in addition to which Hungarian police are assisting the border guarding activities of several countries to our south”, Mr. Bakondi also mentioned.

“Hungary has gone to court and applied all possible means to resist the European Union’s idea of relocating immigrants”, he reminded the press. “Only 20 percent of the planned quota has been successfully relocated from Greece and only 7 percent from Italy, meaning the idea has not been very successful at all”, de said, adding “Only 800 people have been sent back to Turkey within the framework of the EU-Turkey agreement; this does also not represent a mass of people”.

According to the Chief Security Advisor, there are 63 thousand registered migrants in Greece, 6 thousand in Bulgaria and 7200 in Serbia, which 280 thousand new asylum seekers arrived in Germany and 745 thousand requests for asylum have been submitted to the German; hundreds of thousands of people with an uncertain status are waiting to have their requests assessed, which also has an important effect on public security.

With regard to Hungary, Mr. Bakondi told reporters: “17.800 people managed to enter the country prior to the new regulations that came into force on 5 July, and since then only 470. 10,600 people were prevented from crossing the border fence and 8400 were accompanied back to the other side of the fence from within the 8 kilometre border zone”. “19,400 asylum requests were submitted in 2016 and 438 people were afforded international protection, but refugee procedures were terminated in some 50 thousand cases because the applicant had moved on to an unknown location”, he continued, noting that there are currently 858 migrants living in accommodation in Hungary.

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In reply to a question concerning previous comments by US President-elect Donald Trump concerning his European migration policy, Mr. Bakondi said: “Donald Trump is yet to be inaugurated, so we will only find out bout his concrete measures at a later date, but based on his political statements so far it is possible that as a result of the political changes in the United States those forced that have until now ensured that as many migrants as possible are able to flow into Europe will no longer receive support”.

In reply to another question, the Chief Security Advisor also told reporters that the women who had attempted to reach the Islamic State terrorist organisation in Damascus, and who were apprehended in Röszke last week, would be transported home within days by the French and Belgian authorities that issued the European arrest warrant to face proceedings.

Also in reply to a question from the press, Mr. Bakondi also explained that immigrants used to be held under detention in Hungary and the Government has decided to reinstate this regulation to ensure that the security situation in Hungary and throughout Europe does not worsen further. The Minister of Interior is working out the details of the legislation, he said.

(Cabinet Office of the Prime Minister/MTI)