Hungary declares nationwide state of emergency due to migration crisis

March 9, 2016

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Hungary has declared a nationwide state of emergency due to the migration crisis. The decision was announced Wednesday by Minister of the Interior Sándor Pintér at a joint press conference with government spokesman Zoltán Kovács, reports Hungarian news site 444.hu.

Pintér told members of the press that Hungary had introduced extraordinary measures along its borders with Slovenia, Croatia and Serbia, and those seeking to enter Hungary from these points may only do so with valid passports and travel visas.

Pintér also said he does not know how Hungary’s actions will affect the refugees and illegal migrants who are already within the neighboring countries.

The government will increase efforts to defend the country’s border and send more law enforcement and military personnel to assist. About 1,500 military personnel will also be sent to the border. The goal of increased law enforcement and military presence is to decrease response time along the border and to carry out work building roads and providing lighting for better visibility along the fence.

The government reportedly is preparing to build a camp for those it catches trying to cross the fence.

According to Pintér, the budget already has provisions for the mass movement of personnel to the border areas, but another HUF 7.3 billion may be needed for additional road construction.

Pintér said the government currently has no plans to build a fence on the border with Romania, but can do so within 10 days if necessary.