Czech police arrive in Hungary to help protect border

In this file photo dated Monday, April 8, 2019, a sign reading: "State Border" is attached to a fence at Hungary's border with Serbia near the village Asotthalom, Hungary. (AP Photo/Darko Vojinovic, FILE)
By Lucie Ctverakova
2 Min Read

On Friday, 50 Czech police officers arrived in Budapest to help protect the external border of the Schengen area on the Hungarian-Serbian border, according to the MTI news agency. The Czech police specified on Twitter that the contingent would operate in the vicinity of the city of Szeged for two months.

“Czech police last helped with guarding the borders in Hungary six years ago,” the Czech police noted on their Twitter account.

The current deployment of 50 Czech police officers in Hungary was approved by the government at the end of September. Prime Minister Andrej Babiš spoke about the possible assistance during his recent visit to Hungary, shortly before the Czech parliamentary elections. The cost of the mission is about 50 million korunas (€1.9 million).

After the arrival of Czech police, Deputy Hungarian Police Chief Zoltán János Kuczik spoke at the welcoming ceremony about the growing migratory pressure, which he described as a “serious threat to Europe.” According to him, Hungary recorded 17,000 attempted border crossings in 2019, 46,000 last year, and 90,000 such attempts in the first nine months of this year. The Hungarian authorities have also initiated 915 lawsuits against traffickers, which is almost three times more than in the same period last year, he said.

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