Hungary and Austria say that the joint protection of the European Union’s external borders is needed to solve the migration crisis and maintain passport-free travel within the bloc.
Hungarian Foreign Minister Peter Szijjarto said Thursday after meeting Austrian counterpart Sebastian Kurz that both countries also agree that refugees wanting to come to the EU should apply for asylum before they enter the 28-country alliance, because “once someone enters the EU, they stay even if they are not granted asylum.”
Sziijarto said that “decisions are needed which reduce to a minimum the immigration pressure on the EU.”
For his part, Kurz said that “in the future, there will be an EU without internal borders only if we protect the external borders of the EU.”
German police say they’ve arrested two people on suspicion of arson some 18 months after fires broke out at three buildings earmarked to serve as accommodation for asylum seekers in Bavaria.
Police said in a brief statement Thursday that the two were suspected of setting the blazes for unspecified “economic reasons” and not out of anti-foreigner motives. Further details were to be released Friday.
At the time of the fires in December 2014 in the town of Vorra, near Nuremberg, Germany was struggling to deal with an influx of migrants and authorities had suspected anti-foreigner sentiment was behind the attack.
Nobody was in the buildings at the time and the blazes were quickly extinguished.
Police in an Interpol-led operation have arrested 26 people across several countries accused of involvement in migrant-smuggling – and the international police agency wants the public’s help to find suspects still at large.
European police authorities say organized crime networks are playing a big role in Europe’s migrant crisis, earning up to $6 billion in revenue last year by capitalizing on migrants’ desperation.
Interpol said in a statement that those arrested in the 24-country operation in May include a Moroccan suspected of selling Belgian identity cards to Syrian migrants, and an Albanian group charging migrants 14,000 euros to travel across the English Channel by boat.
Interpol released appeals Thursday for help finding 11 other people from several countries accused of illegally smuggling Iraqis, Afghans and other migrants.