Hungarian Foreign Minister Peter Szijjarto said on Tuesday that Hungary would also build a razor-wire fence along a part of its border with Romania, alongside the one being built on the Serbian frontier. "The government has decided to make preparations for the construction of a fence on the Hungary-Romania border, extending from the border triangle of Hungary, Serbia and Romania, for a reasonable distance," Szijjarto told reporters at a press conference in the Hungarian capital Budapest.
"The measure is necessary as people-smugglers may change their routes because of the existing fence on the Hungary-Serbia border, hence a part of the immigration pressure may get directed towards Romania," Szijjarto said. The anti-immigrant fence is expected to run approximately 25 kilometers (15 miles) of the Hungary-Romania border, which is almost 450 kilometers (280 miles) long.
The minister's comments come on the heels of Hungary's "state of emergency" declaration in response to thousands of refugees entering the country via its border with Serbia, effectively allowing the government to deploy the military as support to police on the Serbian frontier.
European Union leaders and Turkey agreed on measures to help stem the refugee crisis and counter terrorism, aided by an EU pledge to relaunch Turkey’s membership bid and provide financial support.
EU government chiefs are meeting with Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu in Brussels on Sunday to present a united front and implore Turkey to help deal with the fallout from violence in Syria as well as turmoil in the rest of the Middle East. In return for Turkey bolstering its border controls, Europe is dangling rewards that could bring the nation closer to the EU than it’s been for almost a decade.
“Our main goal is to stem the flow of migrants to Europe,” EU President Donald Tusk said as he entered the summit. “Approximately 1.5 million people have illegally entered the EU in 2015. Most have come through Turkey,” he said later in opening remarks at the session.
Around 20 refugees will move into the tent camp in Revingehed, a field near Lund in southern Sweden. "We hope that everything is in place, so the first people to arrive know that they will be well received," Rebecca Bichis, regional manager for the Swedish Migration Agency (Migrationsverket) told Swedish public broadcaster SVT on Monday. The camp will eventually be home to more than 375 refugees, with 17 tents each offering beds for up to 12 people. Further accommodation is scheduled to open in 2016.
All of the tents will be heated and are set to open as temperatures in southern Sweden remain higher than average for this time of year with forecasters predicting they are unlikely to drop below 2C. Home Affairs Minister Anders Ygeman recently visited the temporary homes and described them as working "pretty well".
The number of migrants who have entered Europe by sea and land this year has passed 1 million, the International Organization for Migration said Tuesday. It said that as of Monday, taking into account the latest updates, there had been 1,005,504 "irregular arrivals" into Europe in 2015.
The figures show that the vast majority -- 971,289 -- have come by sea over the Mediterranean. Another 34,215 have crossed from Turkey into Bulgaria and Greece by land. Among those traveling by sea, 3,695 are known to have drowned or remain missing as they attempted to cross the sea on unseaworthy boats, according to IOM figures. That's a rate of more than 10 deaths each day this year.
The overwhelming majority of migrants -- 821,008, or 81.6% -- arrived in Europe in Greece, the IOM said. The second-highest number of arrivals -- 150,317 -- were in Italy, with the remainder in Bulgaria, Spain, Cyprus and Malta, in that order. According to an IOM statement released this month, the top five nationalities arriving in Greece were from Syria, Afghanistan, Iraq, Pakistan and Albania.
The controversial anti-Islamisation group, Pegida, will formally announce the creation of an Irish branch of the organisation at a protest rally in Dublin on February 6. Ireland will become the 15th country to establish its own branch of the German organisation. The group will in future contest German elections and the Irish group may well follow suit.
Peter O’Loughlin, who will be running for Identity Ireland in Cork North Central, confirmed the launch of Pegida Ireland at a press conference, where he introduced Pegida UK coordinator and former English Defence League founder Tommy Robinson.
“Pegida [Patriotic Europeans Against the Islamization of the Occident, in German] is making international headlines,” said O’Loughlin. “It is giving the people of Europe a chance to speak out and have a voice against the absolutely disastrous policies of the EU and of the German government and the various puppet governments around Europe.”