Hungarian MPs have passed a law permitting the country’s troops to use rubber bullets, stun grenades, flares and net guns to prevent thousands of undocumented immigrants from entering the country illegally.
The bill passed with 151 votes to 12 against and 27 abstentions in the 199-member parliament.
Moments before the passage of the bill, Prime Minister Viktor Orban said Hungary needs to protect itself and Europe from the threat of mass migration.
— Hans de Vreij (@hdevreij) September 21, 2015
“Our borders are under threat, our life based on a respect for laws… and the whole of Europe. We are being run over,” Orban said.
“The whole of Hungary and Europe is in danger. They are blitzing us,” he added. “Our borders are in danger. Our way of life where we respect the law is in danger.”
“We need to rethink many European inventions, institutions and treaties. But until we do we cannot sit idle. Until the EU states act as one, member states will be forced to go out of their way to fend off this brutal threat,” he said.
Last week Hungary made it a criminal offense to breach the border. More than 50,000 immigrants have flooded the Eastern European country this year.
“The migration pressure which is falling heavy on Europe has created extraordinary situations in Hungary as well as in Serbia,” Hungarian Interior Minister Sandor Pinter said. “We have devised a solution to this extraordinary situation together, and we attempted to resolve it together.”
Opinion polls show the ruling Fidesz party’s approval rating had risen to 48 per cent this month, from 43 per cent in June and 40 per cent in December, according to the Financial Times.