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Hungary to Deploy Military to 'Defend' Border From Migrants: PM

Hungary's prime minister plans to deploy the military as part of a crackdown on migrants and human traffickers in coming weeks.
/ Source: Associated Press

Hungary's prime minister plans to deploy the military as part of a crackdown on migrants and human traffickers in coming weeks and blames Germany for the influx through his country.

Arriving in Brussels for talks about the crisis, Viktor Orban said the Hungarian parliament is pushing through new measures "that will create a new legal situation at the borders, even more strict than it was."

Asked by The Associated Press whether the military will be deployed to defend Hungary's borders, he said: "Yes."

Orban said in Brussels that the migrant "problem is not a European problem, the problem is a German problem, nobody would like to stay in Hungary."

Thousands of refugees from Syria, Iraq, Afghanistan or Eritrea are crossing Western Balkan nations from Greece every day with the help of traffickers, aiming to reach wealthy European Union countries like Germany, Austria or Sweden and apply for asylum.

The influx has raised tensions among neighbors, with Greece and Italy accused of failing to stop the migrants from moving farther north. Germany's decision to allow Syrians to apply for protection there has troubled Hungary, which thinks the move is attracting more people to Europe.

Germany expects to receive as many as 800,000 migrants this year — the most in the EU. and some four times last year's count.

Walls have been erected, razor wire unspooled, and border security stepped up, threatening passport-free travel among European nations that also permit the smooth passage of goods, services and business. About 160,000 migrants have been detained this year in Hungary, which has erected a fence on its border with Serbia.

Last week, the head of the U.N. refugee agency said the Europe Union's asylum system is "completely dysfunctional," urging the bloc to better coordinate its response to the influx of refugees.

According to figures released by the International Organization for Migration on Monday, more than 332,000 migrants have crossed the Mediterranean Sea this year to reach Europe.

That number includes over 218,000 who landed in Greece and over 111,600 who reached Italian shores, the intergovernmental agency said Friday. At least 2,636 people have died in the attempt, it said.