BUDAPEST: Hungary’s parliament authorized the government on Monday to deploy the army to help handle a migrant crisis, granting the military the right to deploy a range of non-lethal force.
It passed a law saying the army could use rubber bullets, pyrotechnical devices, tear gas grenades or net guns, according to the text posted on parliament’s website. Hungary, a landlocked nation of 10 million, lies in the path of the largest migration wave Europe has seen since World War Two. It has registered more than 220,000 asylum seekers this year, a wave Budapest has said it would do everything to deflect.
Prime Minister Viktor Orban told parliament that police were unable to secure Hungary’s borders with Serbia and Croatia – outer borders of the EU’s passport-free Schengen zone – without help form the army.
“We can defend the Serbian stretch of the border,” he said, adding that fortifications at the 175-kilometre (110 mile) Hungary-Serbia border were working better than expected.
Hungarian soldiers fix the poles of a new fence on the border with Croatia near Beremend, Hungary, S …
Hungary completed that border fence and deployed regular patrols, leading to a drastic drop of migrants crossing that stretch of the border and entering Croatia instead. Unable to cope, Zagreb has waved the migrants on to Hungary again.