Czech Republic: Orban demands greater German involvement in refugee crisis

Hungarian authorities are waiting for an answer from neighbouring Austria on how to legally deal with the refugee crisis, Hungarian Prime Minister Victor Orban said in Prague on Friday. "If I protect our borders it becomes a problem," Orban said, and if "I don't protect them it is going to be a problem," so Europe does not "actually know what to do." The Hungarian leader called on greater German involvement in order to find a solution to the crisis. Orban addressed an audience during an extraordinary Visegrad Group summit in Prague alongside Czech Prime Minister Bohuslav Sobotka and his Polish and Slovakian counterparts Ewa Kopacz and Robert Fico respectively. The Hungarian government has taken radical measures in early September to deal with the unprecedented people crossing their borders, many without documentation. Firstly, they closed the main station with trains leading to Austria, Germany and other European destinations. This led to a temporary encampment being set up, with around 3,000 refugees around Keleti station. When the station re-opened, many boarded trains that were destined for processing and detention camps, not other countries as they thought. Thousands have protested against the authorities. Orban has also taken a strong line on the crisis, blaming Europe and Germany in particular for "misleading" people by encouraging the impression that Europe can accommodate their needs and wants. Orban further contended that the people coming over the border are refugees, claiming instead that they are posing as refugees in order to get into the EU. He argued, therefore, that European leaders need to discourage routes of migration into Europe. As of Friday, Hungary has closed the border with Serbia and made it an offence to cross the border without documentation, punishable with three years in prison. Furthermore, the country has set up "transfer zones" to process those within the country, seeking to deport those it judges to not be "genuine" refugees.

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