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Hungary's borders with Serbia and Croatia are protected by kilometers of wire fencing   Hungary's borders with Serbia and Croatia are protected by kilometers of wire fencing   (Copyright by MaxPixel)

Future asylum seekers uncertain at Hungary's border

Hungary has welcomed the outcome of a European Union summit on migration aimed at tackling the influx of often desperate people into Europe. But the impact of these decisions means more hardship for asylum seekers.

By Stefan J. Bos

In a white tent near one of Europe's most protected frontiers, a few Afghans are waiting to enter Hungary. Here at the Serbian-Hungarian border is where their long trip across several nations is ending.

Nearby, behind a big iron fence and razor wire are containers where Hungarian guards detain asylum seekers fleeing war, persecution, and
poverty.

A young Afghan man hasn't given up hope that he can enter Hungary and the European Union one day. "Hungary is allowing only one family a week to enter. I wait till it is my turn so I can enter Hungary," he says.

But Hungary's government is now warning that nobody reaching the nation through land will receive asylum.

Government Spokesman Zoltán Kovács refers to new legislation and changes in Hungary's constitution. "Serbia is a safe country. So as a matter of fact under the new changes in the constitution nobody is supposed to handle in any request for asylum if they arrive from Serbia. Serbia, Greece, Turkey are safe countries," he explains.

EU Summit

"So passing through safe countries and coming to the Hungarian border illegally, basically makes it impossible to apply for asylum," Kovács adds.

His boss, Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán, has welcomed the outcome of the European Union's migration summit.

Hungary, a leading voice in Europe's anti-migration block, is pleased that the EU wants to set up asylum centers in Africa and some EU member states on a voluntary basis.

That was a plan proposed earlier by Hungary and several allies.

But for people here at the Serbian-Hungarian border, it means that they face an uncertain future.

 

Listen to Stefan Bos' report
30 June 2018, 17:53