Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban has been something of a thorn in the side of the EU for quite a while now when it comes to the refugee crisis and questions over terrorism and illegal immigration. While most of the rest of the union has been bending over backwards to keep pace with Angela Merkel’s plans for unlimited immigration and open borders, Hungary has taken a hard line in keeping the illegal migrants out. This has led the EU to recently consider imposing penalties on Hungary for their failure to get with the program.
Orban came up with an even better response of his own. He just sent the European Union a bill for $476 million to cover half the cost of the razor wire fence he put up to keep the flow of immigrants out. (Daily Caller)
Hungary wants the European Union to pay half the bill for the razor-wired fence it erected in 2015 to keep migrants out, Prime Minister Viktor Orban’s administration announced Thursday.
The fence has virtually erased illegal immigration into Hungary less than two years after it was considered the primary route for migrants attempting to enter the EU. Janos Lazar, Orban’s chief of staff, claims the 400 million euro ($476 million) figure is justified since the fence is “protecting all the citizens of Europe from the flood of illegal migrants.”
“If we talk about European solidarity, then we must also discuss the protection of borders. Solidarity must be applicable there, too,” Lazar said at a press conference. “That burden must also be shared.”
No clue how successful Orban might be in collecting the money, but he’s getting his point across here. The Prime Minister has been nothing if not consistent in his handling of border control, correctly noting to the rest of his EU colleagues that his country stood as one of the primary barriers against an even larger influx of illegal migrants.
You may recall that Orban’s rather dark sense of humor over this matter has been on display before, particularly when he declared that he was very open to accepting refugees… from liberalism. On a more serious note, in the period of time before the border fence was completed he launched a program to hire bounty hunters to guard Hungary’s borders. And for those who had made it through and gotten into Hungary, he championed a forced immigrant resettlement program for those who were not there to adopt Hungarian culture and values.
So how effective has the physical barrier combined with those other measures been? In 2015 Hungary was one of the primary routes for migrants seeking to cross deeper into Europe. This year that number has gone from the tens of thousands to barely a trickle, and Orban would like credit for having contained the flow, easing pressure on the nations to the north as they sought to make their way through Austria and Czechia, eventually winding up in Germany and points beyond.
Among all the European leaders in the EU, different styles have been on display during this crisis. Politics plays a part with most of them, but Victor Orban has been rock solid in his positions and the people of his nation seem to support him in these efforts.