Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán has praised Austria as being a “natural partner” for tackling mass illegal migration alongside the Visegrad Group (V4) countries.
Prime Minister Orbán made his comments in Prague during a summit of the V4 countries, whose members are Hungary, Poland, Czechia and Slovakia, with Austria also attending, whose Chancellor Sebastian Kurz present at the event, Hungary Today reports.
The Hungarian leader noted that the possibility of a rush of migrants from the Balkans entering Hungary would also be a concern for Austria, as many migrants would not stay in Hungary but travel onward to Germany or even stay in Austria itself.
The border fence, built on the border of Hungary and Serbia in 2015, has served to greatly reduce the number of migrants illegally entering the country but several reports have shown a recent surge across the Balkans in the migrant numbers.
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Greece, which is largely seen as the entry point for migrants attempting to reach Europe through the Balkan route, is preparing for as many as 100,000 new asylum seekers in 2020 with Manos Logothetis, the government commissioner for the initial reception of refugees, stating, “he crisis is current and it is serious.”
Mr Orbán also took time to congratulate Chancellor Kurz on forming a new government which consists of a coalition between Kurz’s Austrian People’s Party and the Austrian Green Party.
While the Austrian Greens have been more open to mass migration in the past, Kurz has claimed that the coalition will not affect the stricter migrant policy enacted in his past coalition with the populist Freedom Party. Kurz said that the new government would also push to ban Islamic headscarves for students under the age of 14.
Along with praising Kurz, Orbán also called for the V4 to invite Balkan countries looking to join the European Union to a future summit to discuss the future of Europe.