Hungary’s stand irks EU Heavyweights.
Common sense is a rare commodity in Brussels (the seat of European Union’s bureaucracy) when it comes to tackling the issue of mass immigration. The number of immigrants entering the European Union by land and sea has risen drastically in 2015. According to the UN, 153,000 migrants have crossed into Europe so far this year, marking a 150 percent spike compared to 2014.
Considering the fact that many illegal immigrants prefer to stay undetected, the actual figures could be much higher.
The European Union’s response to the rising tide of immigrants is conspicuous inaction coupled with threats against individual EU member states who dare to undertake even the slightest of countermeasures. The EU bureaucracy is particularly irked by Hungary’s move to erect a 110 mile fence along its southern border.
Wall Street Journal reports:
Hungarian soldiers have started building a controversial fence along its border with Serbia, in an effort to stop the rising flow of migrants trying to enter the European Union. Work on the fence is being carried out at several locations at once along the 175km (109m) border, with about 900 soldiers helping to construct the four-metre high fence, which the government wants to finish by 31 August.
AFP has footage of crews beginning construction:
Hungary’s recent tough stand on illegal immigration has earned strong rebukes from western European leaders, the EU Bureaucracy, and the mainstream media. The country has started on a collision course with EU heavyweights like France and Germany after unilaterally suspending an EU law in June 2015 mandating that Hungary take back asylum seekers who enter the EU via Hungary but travel on to other preferred destinations within the Union—mainly France and Germany.
Leading German Newspapers including Der Spiegel and Die Zeit ran articles critical of Hungary’s move to close its borders to illegal immigration; they also downplayed Hungary’s exposure to the wave of immigrants and criticized Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán’s tough approach towards illegal immigrants. In the U.S., PBS called the Hungarian border fence the “Iron Curtain”, alluding to Stalin’s rule, and the cutting-off of Hungary and other eastern European countries from the free world.
Leaders not just in Hungary but all across the EU are coming under increasing pressure from their electorates to act on immigration. The Anti-Islamization protest movement Pagida (abbreviation for “Patriotic Europeans Against the Islamisation of the West”) launched 9 months ago in Dresden and has now spread to other cities of Germany; they regularly draw thousands to the streets. In absence of a credible position against mass-immigration from traditional Christian-Democrats and Conservatives, parties on the far right are making rapid electoral gains.
By not taking the issue of immigration head on, EU leaders are not doing a favour to immigrants. By hushing up an open and honest debate, they carry the blame for rising anti-immigrant sentiment within EU.