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Hungary does not receive EU funds for controversial border fence

Saturday, September 2nd, 2017 | World News

Hungary's governor Viktor Orban has called for the EU to take over construction costs of the controversial border fence "refugee defense". The EU Commission rejects this.

"The European Union does not finance the construction of a fence or a barrier at the external borders," said a Commission spokesman. However, aid for "measures for border management" is possible. However, EU solidarity in the refugee crisis was not a one-way street: countries could not demand assistance from border guards and at the same time refuse to accept refugees.

On Thursday, Orban said in a letter to EU Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker that Brussels will pay half of the cost of constructing the border fence erected because of the refugee crisis and the training and deployment of 3,000 border guards along the barrier. He quantified the total costs to 883.2 million euros.

  Orban sees Hungary as a shelter in Europe
In the future, too, Budapest expects that the EU will "repay half of the extraordinary border protection expenditure", Orban said in the letter. It is "no exaggeration to say that the security of European citizens was financed by Hungarian taxpayers." Hungary protects "all of Europe from the flood of illegal migrants".

In 2015, more than 400,000 refugees had come to Hungary on their way to Western Europe. The country then erected a barbed wire fence on the border with Serbia. Another fence was later built on the border with Croatia, which is an EU member but not part of the Schengen area.

 The Commissioner pointed out that Hungary had already received financial aid with a view to protecting the EU's external borders. But it was always Brussels' position not to finance border fences. "That will not change." However, if Budapest needs additional aid for "border management" or equipment, the Commission is ready to examine it "quickly" and to grant it under European law.

EU urges lack of willingness to take refugees
However, solidarity with the EU's action in the refugee crisis is "not an a la carte menu," the spokesman continued. A country can not choose a court such as border management and refuse another such as compliance with the EU firings for refugee reception.

Orban's request comes shortly before the decision of the European Court of Justice against Hungary and Slovakia against the admission of refugees. In September 2015, EU interior ministers decided by majority to redistribute 120,000 refugees from the main countries of origin, Italy and Greece, to all Member States. The ECJ will decide on complaints on Wednesday next week.

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