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Serbia’s Vucic hits out at Hungarian migrant fence

by Our Foreign Desk

SERBIAN President Aleksandar Vucic said he was “shocked and surprised” yesterday by Hungary’s plan to build a border fence against immigrants.

“Walls and fences” were not the solution, Mr Vucic said, to the crisis that has seen tens of thousands of migrants from the Middle East and Africa cross the western Balkans, trying to reach the European Union as they flee wars and poverty in their home countries.

“We don’t know what this is all about,” Mr Vukic said. “We are not guilty and all of a sudden a wall is to be built.”
He added: “We don’t want to live in an Auschwitz.”

Hungarian Foreign Minister Peter Szijjarto claimed on Wednesday that the 13-foot-high fence along the 109-mile southern border with Serbia would not contravene any of Hungary’s international legal obligations.

But the European Union said it did not promote the use of fences and encouraged its member states to use alternative measures.

“We have only recently taken down walls in Europe. We should not be putting them up,” said EU spokeswoman Natasha Bertaud.

Hungary’s right-wing government has been on an anti-immigrant campaign, claiming that Muslims threaten Europe’s Christians.

Prime Minister Victor Orban has said “the face of the European civilisation will never again be what it is now.”

More than 53,000 people have requested asylum in Hungary this year, up from 2,150 in 2012. Some 22,000 claims have been made in Serbia, six times as many as last year.

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