As of midnight, Hungary has closed its border with Serbia in order to block the migrants. As the premier Viktor Orban had announced, Hungary has started to take drastic measures. Since a few hours it has become possible to arrest and jail whoever attempts to cross the border illegally, as well as to expel asylum seekers back to the country they are coming from, that is, to Serbia. Yesterday afternoon the police closed the last portion of territory used by the refugees to transit without undergoing controls, a segment of the railway near Röszke, a town which till a quarter of a century ago was crossed by the iron Curtain. A breach of about 40m which has been the gate to Europe for the last days, now is blocked by a boxcar with barbed wire on the top of it.
Yesterday, at around 4PM, the last immigrants were allowed to pass. A woman with two children was blocked while she was running in order to get ahead of the agents, followed by tens of other people, in a desperate last-minute rush. Many of them were in tears. Useless: the police has quickly deviated them to a checkpoint on official border, which is only a few hundred meters away and was used for controlled transiting until midnight. The authorities have announced that 9,380 people were “seized” while attempting to enter illegally, “all people who are ‘de facto’ punishable by detention and arrest. According to a note of the police several criminal proceedings were started against migrants trafficking.
“If there are refugees, ask them whether they have submitted an application for asylum in Serbia which is a safe country – declared Orban, the fiercest in the club of countries which oppose the obligation of the migrants distribution in Europe – if they have not done so, they will be rejected”. The prime minister has launched a clear warning to the forces of order, making it clear that it will not be easy to apply the new rules and that there could be moments of tension. “You will have to face determination and aggressiveness – he said – you will meet people who have been deceived”. Hungary takes a hard line, whereas Germany, in front of an emergency that is growing unmanageable, decided to control its borders again. Austria and Slovakia have followed its example. And while in Brussels the European ministers of interior affairs finished their meeting, after hours of discussion on the distribution of the migrants in search of asylum, without reaching an agreement, in Europe this morning Germany has proposed to cut the EU funds for the countries that oppose the refugees’ relocation.