‘Despite refugee crisis, EU countries still afraid to say ‘fence’’
Concerns that European open border policies could come at the cost of its security have been brought sharply into focus following the Paris attacks.
RT: You are in Budapest, and Hungary's government is arguably taking the strongest stance on migrants. Do you think closing the borders is a solution?
Mariann Ory: The Hungarian government has managed to solve the migration crisis so far for Hungary. And many other countries are following its example, even though they are afraid to say “fence” but they are building fences and this is a tendency now. The Hungarian government is also very firmly against the migration quotas and they were opposing it even before the Paris attacks because they just think that it is not going to work. And also after the attacks the prime minister said that the mandatory quota would just spread terrorism around Europe.
RT: Do you agree with those who think the open border policy is indeed to blame for security failings?
MO: Obviously, we can’t ignore this fact. For example, at the attack on the Thalys train from Amsterdam to Paris in August the authorities said the suspect wanted to attack the passengers. He was known to the authorities and if he would have taken a plane they would know where he is going, but as he simply went by train he could just move freely around Europe. This is what is happening now. And also, for example, this weekend in Hungary the Hungarian police has caught two British Islamists who managed to sneak out from Britain and almost managed to get out from the Schengen zone.
RT: Brussels said that it would introduce more thorough checks for refugees at its borders. But with the current influx, do you think it is possible to sift through every single asylum seeker?
MO: This is definitely a huge burden on the authorities. This is why several countries are trying to take measures to somehow control migration and to close the green border so that people are not just crossing borders wherever they want but they try to channel them as much as possible. But this is obviously a very great task for the authorities.
RT: France after the Paris attacks has confirmed it will be accepting 30,000 refugees as previously announced. What do you think of that decision?
MO: I am actually surprised by this statement coming from a Western European country as we see that this shows the approach to this question quite clearly. But I would be surprised if this decision would have the wide support of the French people.
The statements, views and opinions expressed in this column are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of RT.