The Austrian government has asked the Hungarian government for clarification on Wednesday (local time) as it tightened security along its shared border with Hungary after the government decided to grant early release to convicted human traffickers. The Associated Press reported.
The Austrian Foreign Ministry said in a statement to the Associated Press that the decision to free hundreds of prisoners “has a direct impact on our security”.
The Austrian Ministry of Foreign Affairs said in a statement, “We expect an immediate and comprehensive explanation from Hungary,” adding that the Hungarian ambassador to Austria was summoned to Vienna for an emergency meeting this afternoon.
Austria’s Interior Minister Gerhard Karner tightened border controls over the weekend, and Foreign Minister Alexander Schalenberg discussed the issue with Hungary’s Foreign Minister Peter Sjarto on the 21st.
Hungarian officials insisted that the release of smugglers, all foreign nationals, was a measure to free up space in their prisons and ease the burden on taxpayers. According to Hungarian government statutes, prisoners must leave Hungary within 72 hours of being released.
Earlier this month, “As long as prisons are overcrowded… It is the right decision not to spend Hungarian taxpayers’ money on the care of hundreds of human traffickers.”
Hungary has been strongly opposed to illegal migration to Europe, and Prime Minister Orbán has often stressed that migration threatens to displace continental Christian culture.
Central European countries are situated along the Balkan migration route, a popular route for migrants and refugees from the Middle East, Africa and elsewhere to reach the European Union.
Austria criticized the early release of traffickers as contradicting Hungary’s position on migrants.
“The justification that imprisoning human traffickers of foreign nationality is too expensive is in stark contrast to Hungary’s previously self-proclaimed hardline stance against human trafficking,” the Austrian Ministry of Foreign Affairs said in a statement.
Mark Jones is a world traveler and journalist for News Rebeat. With a curious mind and a love of adventure, Mark brings a unique perspective to the latest global events and provides in-depth and thought-provoking coverage of the world at large.