Minister Lazar: Talks about why Austria has closed down the border are ongoing

Source: atv.hu (MTI)

For the original article please click here.

Minister Lazar: Talks about why Austria has closed down the border are ongoing

Talks are ongoing between the Hungarian and Austrian governments about the reasons Austria chose to close down the Hegyeshalom border-crossing point, according to Janos Lazar, a government minister in the Prime Minister’s office. He was talking to the press Saturday morning about the current immigration situation at Kötcse, the location of “polgári piknik” (an annual informal event for the close supporters of the governing party, FIDESZ – trans.).

In his announcement, which was also broadcasted on M1 (main public media channel of Hungary – trans.), the government official also said that there are currently 10-30 km pileups on the motorway because Burgenland police on duty at the Austrian-Hungarian border are “not receiving clear orders from the federal government” and they do not know what to do, so they are keeping the border closed.

“The immigrants are not interfering with motorway traffic, but Austria is still closed down,” he said. Lazar also mentioned that there are 200 immigrants currently on their way to the Austrian border and noted that the country’s officials need to make a decision on how to act.

He said that during the night between Friday and Saturday they drove 4500 immigrants by bus to Hegyeshalom, picking them up from the M1 motorway, No. 1 railway route, and Keleti Railway Station in Budapest.

Hungarian authorities had a mandate from Austrian and German governments to move these people who were risking their own lives and disrupting Hungarian road safety to Hegyeshalom. The majority of buses have duly arrived at Hegyeshalom, noted the minister. A question was put to him asking him if he believed it was in order that the Minister of Internal Affairs, Mr. Sandor Pinter, has chosen to take his holiday now. Lazar replied that they are in constant contact with the Internal Minister.

To a question about Hungarian relations with German Chancellor Angela Merkel, the head of the Prime Minster’s office answered that relations are still completely constructive and they remain allies.

“I think that the German government now sees that the statement which drew immigrants residing in Hungary to go to Germany was not accurate,” he said.

He also emphasized that Hungary will keep fulfilling her obligations to the Schengen treaty. “If we are not acting as Schengen, then we will be left out of it,” he said, pointing out the importance of the completing the security fence on the Serbian-Hungarian border as soon as possible. The national security cabinet is expected to have a meeting about this topic on Monday.

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