Orbán: ‘Migrant Armies Are Banging on Europe’s Doors’
Hungarian prime minister Viktor Orbán has warned that “migrant armies are banging on Europe’s doors” as the coronavirus 'pandemic' recedes.
Speaking to Kossuth Rádió, the national conservative leader said that the world is now going through “the age of epidemics and migration”, and that the latter issue is rising in importance after being largely overshadowed by the virus through 2020 and much of 2021.
Prime Minister Orbán warned that “migrant armies are banging on Europe’s doors, on the doors that seal off migration routes on land and at sea” — a reference to the fact that illegal immigration pressures are not only increasing along the European Union’s land borders, but also at sea, with migrant “taxi” ships operated by non-government organisations (NGOs) have been stepping up their activities on the so-called Central Mediterranean Route to Italy.
Spain’s Canary Islands, off the coast of West Africa, have also been inundated with thousands of illegal migrants arriving by sea, despite the pandemic.
Just beyond the European Union, illegal migrants are also banging at a virtually open door along the sea border with the United Kingdom, being able to travel to the former EU member-state from France largely unhindered by the French authorities and not hindered at all by the hapless British authorities, who not only never turn boat migrants back but even go out of their way to meet them in French waters to help bring them to British soil
Hungary, while being located a ways into the interior of Europe, nevertheless has responsibility for parts of the EU Common External Border via its frontiers with Serbia and the Ukraine, which are not EU member-states.
The former, in particular, is the unwilling host to many sometimes dangerous migrants seeking to press on towards the generous welfare states of Western and Northern Europe, and the Hungarians have noted a significant increase in attempts to break out of it and into their territory of late.
All told, they report, some 10,000 attempts were made on their border fence with Serbia in 2020, but on current trends the total for 2021 is expected to almost quadruple to 38,000.
Even this number vastly underestimates the likely scale of Europe’s illegal migration issue, however, as many more migrants will breach the bloc via the Western or Central Mediterranean routes or, if utilising the Eastern and Southern route, will stop before Hungary or attempt to go around it, as it enforces is border control far more strictly than most member-states — and indeed far more strictly than the EU would like.
Less heralded routes into the EU via the likes of Belarus and Russia could also become more significant. EU member-state Lithuania caught a number of Iraqis entering their territory via the former in recent weeks, and accused the Belarusian government of facilitating such migrant movements as part of a “hybrid war”.