Hungary reopens main border crossing with Serbia

On Sunday Hungary reopened border crossing on M5 highway between Roszke and Horgos

Photo by: Reuters
Photo by: Reuters

Asylum seekers fleeing war, persecution and poverty want to reach EU

On Sunday, Hungary reopened its border crossing with Serbia, five days after sealing it off.

Thousands of asylum seekers have traveled by bus and train to the Austrian border, after Hungarian Interior Minister, Sandor Pinter and his Serbian counterpart Nebojsa Stefanovic both reopened the crossing on the M5 highway between Roszke and Horgos to vehicles.  Crossing had been closed since Monday. It was the main route linking Belgrade to Budapest before the refugee crisis.

"We determined how to handle this extraordinary situation together and tried to find a joint solution," Hungarian Interior Minister, Sandor Pinter said.

"The situation dictated the closure (of the border crossing) but in cooperation with our Serbian colleagues, the problems have been overcome and conditions reached for it to reopen," Pinter added.

Many refugees who flee war and poverty in the Middle East, Asia and Africa were looking for other ways to reach European Union after Hungary had closed its entire 175-kilometer border with Serbia, by building a steel and barbed wire security barrier.

Most of them flooded into Croatia, resulting in more than 25,000 people entering Croatian territory in the past four days.

Within days of the border closure, Croatia announced it could not cope with the influx of arrivals and began to redirect the asylum seekers back toward Hungary and Slovenia.

Since Hungary is the gateway to the EU from Eastern Europe, migrants who reach the country try to reach more prosperous EU countries, such as Germany and Sweden, on the premise of Europe's passport-free Schengen system.

Almost 150,000 asylum seekers has reached Hungary this year, 50,000 of whom arrived this month alone, many of them coming through Serbia. After 50,000 refugees crossed the border in a week, Hungary had decided to close its border with Serbia.

This year, from April through June European Union has received almost a quarter of a million asylum requests.


TRTWorld and agencies