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Hungary seals off ‘green border with’ Croatia

October 19th, 2015

As Hungary seals off the frontier, leaving only regular border crossings open, pundits across the political spectrum ponder on the implications.

On Saturday, the Hungarian authorities sealed off the ‘green border’ with Croatia in order to prevent undocumented migrants from entering the country illegally. The decision was made after the European summit on the refugee crisis failed to accept Hungary’s proposal to jointly protect Greece’s eastern borders.

The closure of the Croatian border will not keep migrants away, Népszabadság comments in a front page editorial. As asylum seekers are unlikely to abandon their plans to reach Western Europe, the new fence will only push the problem of migration to Hungary’s neighbours. Undocumented migrants did not want to stay in Hungary anyway, so the fence has few practical benefits, while it isolates the country from Europe, Népszabadság fears.

In Magyar Nemzet, István Pataky ponders the possible diplomatic and international implications. The conservative pundit hopes that, unlike in the case of the fence along the border with Serbia, the new one will have no serious diplomatic repercussions. In the past weeks, the public as well as governments throughout Europe have started to realize the necessity of border control. In addition, the Hungarian government had diplomatic talks with all the involved states before sealing off the Croatian border, Pataky notes. As theV4 countries sent troops to help protect Hungary’s border, it is unlikely that Hungary will be subject to such international uproar as at the time of the erection of the fence on the Serbian frontier. Pataky doesn’t rule out however that Croatian PM Zoran Milanovics will use the opportunity to confront the Hungarian government again (see BudaPost October 3) hoping to increase support in the run-up to the November 8 Parliamentary elections in Croatia.

Central Europe and only Central Europe has a clear answer to the migration crisis, Gyula Máté T. writes in Magyar Hírlap. The conservative commentator thinks that the European summit on migration was a clear indication of Europe’s complete inability to handle the migration crisis. European leaders have not reached an agreement on closing off the border between Turkey and Greece nor have they even  finalized the pledge of 3 billion Euros in order to stop the wave of migrants, Máté recalls. He contends that instead of proposing 3 billion Euros to Turkey, Europe should set up a joint military force in order to secure the borders of Greece and keep unwanted migrants out of the EU.

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