Refugees in Serbia brave cold and snow © Darko Vojinovic
Despite appeals from refugee organizations – Hungary thinks nothing of opening border to migrants holding out in freezing cold in Serbia. The government is sticking to its restrictive refugee policy.
To get help quickly, people should register in Serbia and go to shelters there, Foreign Minister Peter Szijjarto told Die Welt (Saturday). "But many don’t want to do that because they want to apply for asylum later in another country." However, it is not a fundamental human right "for masses of people to march through safe countries and choose which country they want to live in".
Hungary has always taken a clear stand on this ie, he said. "We do not allow illegal onward travel through our country," the foreign minister told the paper. At the same time, the politician criticized Germany’s plan to extend border controls in the Schengen area beyond February. "My wish would be that Germany does not prolong the controls. But for this to happen, all the countries concerned would have to protect the EU’s external borders as we do." If Schengen dies, then the open economy dies, among other things because of long waiting times for trucks with economic goods. Hungary, under right-wing nationalist Prime Minister Viktor Orban, has largely sealed itself off against refugees with fences, deportations and other restrictive measures.
Relief organizations in concern
Meanwhile, aid workers remain concerned about refugees in southeastern Europe. The organization SOS Children’s Villages spoke in an interview with our site of a "frighteningly bad situation". Refugees have frostbite, nothing to eat and bad blankets, said press spokesman Louay Yassin.
Similarly, the aid organization Care. The situation in unofficial camps in the Serbian capital Belgrade is dramatic, Ninja Taprogge of the aid organization told Deutschlandfunk radio on Friday. According to Doctors Without Borders, unofficial information from the authorities there indicates that more than 8.500 migrants on. In the country’s reception centers, according to official figures, 6.000 seats available, but only 3 of them.140 winterized.
Doctors without borders had already communicated in the middle of the week that the Serbian government had not permitted the organization to develop winter-proof camps. In Hungary, too, people were living in camps without thermal insulation.