Nemeth addressed an audience at the border police base at Madaras, in south-eastern Hungary, and underscored that last year, the number of illegal entrants had grown almost tenfold, to 3 299.
He said that the authorities expected that number to grow further. According to Nemeth, Hungarian soldiers had been patrolling the borders with police officers since 2015.
Lieutenant general Gabor Borondi, deputy commander of the Hungarian Army, said that the number of soldiers in the border control mission would increase from 50 to 100 on Monday.
With auxiliary staff included, the move will bring the total number to 500, he said. He added that the measure would stay in force “as long as necessary”.
Fidesz MEP Tamas Deutsch has meanwhile said the key task in 2020 was to stop migration to Europe. Deutsch, the head of the Fidesz-led governing alliance’s group of MEPs in Brussels, told a press conference on Friday that Hungarian voters had tasked the government with preventing further migration to Europe and protecting Europe’s Christian way of life as well as Hungary’s national interests.
Citing reports of German citizens being threatened by illegal migrants in possession of firecrackers during New Year celebrations, he insisted that unlike the case of mass sexual assaults in Cologne in 2015-2016, Germany’s media had not tried to suppress the reports this time round.
He said the European Union should introduce a new rule banning the mandatory resettlement of migrants and demanding that the bloc’s external borders be secured. Asylum applications, he added, should be assessed beyond the external border and illegal immigrants returned to their country of origin.
It was likely the government and Fidesz would come under harsh attack in the debate on such a regulation, Deutsch admitted. Opposition MEPs are encouraging the mounting attacks against Hungary. “Without exception, they … vote against the interests of the Hungarian people,” he said, adding that opposition MEPs had aided efforts in the European Parliament to launch the Article 7 procedure and other punitive measures against Hungary.
The Sargentini report had been revealed as a “tsunami of lies” during the course of the Article 7 procedure.
The European Court of Justice, he said, had ruled that processing asylum applications in transit zones did not constitute detention, and a corruption watchdog had said that claims about graft in connection with public procurements had been unfounded. Deutsch called for all parliamentary parties support an amendment ensuring that “totally crazy fake news” were taken down from various Internet sites.
In reply to a question about Fidesz’s place in the European People’s Party, Deutsch said Fidesz alone would decide which European party family it would belong to.