Hungary's PM Orban has announced that border-crossers will be "immediately arrested" starting next week once stricter immigration laws take effect. He also accused migrants of "rebelling" against Hungarian authorities.
Beginning on September 15, "Hungarian authorities cannot be forgiving of illegal border-crossing," Orban said on Friday after meeting with Manfred Weber, the chairman of the conservative European People's Party in the EU Parliament. "We will not courteously accompany them as until now."
Stricter immigration laws are set to take place next week to block the flow of migrants passing through the country on their way to northern European countries. Many are trying to avoid registering in Hungary out of fear of being stranded or returned to the country later.
Over 170,000 people have entered Hungary this year, with the UN expecting another 42,000 to arrive next week.
Orban also accused refugees of "rebelling against Hungarian legal order" after numerous camp breakouts and standoffs at the Budapest train station. "They have seized railway stations, refused to give fingerprints, failed to cooperate, and are unwilling to go to places where they would get food, water, accommodation and medical care," he said.
The prime minister also blamed Greece for Hungary's current refugee crisis.
"If Greece is not capable of protecting its borders, we need to mobilize European forces to the Greek borders so that they can achieve the goals of European law instead of the Greek authorities. That is one of the foremost goals," Orban said.
His statements come at the end of an uneasy week which saw increasing tensions at the Serbian-Hungarian border.
The country's decision to build a fence along its border with Serbia, as well as a recent video of refugees being fed "like animals in a pen" at a border reception center drew international criticism on Friday.
rs/kms (AP, dpa, Reuters)