It was not possible that what happened in Hungary was ignored. In fact the European Union has thundered against the 175 km long and 4 meters high fence to close the border with Serbia which continues to be crossed by thousands of illegal immigrants. “In Europe walls were recently demolished – Natasha Bertaud, spokesman for the EU Commissioner for Immigration, said – we do not need to build new ones”.
“It is up to the Member States to choose the measures to secure the borders, respecting the international rules and not repulsing the asylum seekers,” Bertaud said, adding that “there are better solutions to adopt than those chosen by Hungary”, and specifying that the EU “does not encourage the construction of barriers” nor finances it. “We pay attention to what is happening along the Hungarian borders,” she said. And if the numbers increase, “we do not exclude the possibility” that the emergency mechanism to be started for Italy and Greece, will also be applied to Hungary.
Currently, the global situation is dramatic. In fact, over the first quarter of 2015 the European Union has had to deal with 185 thousand requests for asylum. Compared to last year, they increased by 86%. The Kosovars are the main ones, almost 50 thousand (26%), ahead of Syria (16%) and Afghanistan (7%). The largest number of applications is in Germany (73,100, 40%), Hungary (32 800, 18%), Italy (15,200, 8%) and France (14,800, 8%). Followed by Sweden (11,400, 6%), Austria (9,700, 5%) and Great Britain (7300, 4%). The lowest number of applications were submitted in Croatia (40); Latvia, Lithuania and Slovenia (45); Estonia and Slovakia (50). According to Eurostat, the number of asylum applications in the first quarter of 2015 was stable compared to the one of 2014; if there were increases in Germany (+ 32%), Hungary (+ 17%), there were also reductions in Sweden (- 41%) and Italy (-28%), and more moderately in the UK (-10%), Austria (-8%) and France (-5%). Faced with these numbers, however, Brussels continues to temporise. And that is why the government of Viktor Orbán has decided to defend itself by erecting a fence to block migrants coming from Serbia.
Translation provided by Maria Rosaria Mastropaolo