Three weeks after Slovakia’s new government cancelled snap border controls with Hungary, residents and officials have noted a sharp drop in undocumented migrants crossing into border towns. Euronews reporter Adam Magyar reports on the factors contributing to the decline.
Records show around 40,000 undocumented migrants transited through Slovakia in the first three quarters of this year, compared to approximately 5,000 in 2022.
Re-elected Slovakian Prime Minister Robert Fico made undocumented migration one of the main talking points in his election campaign, promising to take control of the situation.
The leftist leader was appointed prime minister for a fourth time in October.
Tens of thousands of migrants and asylum-seekers crossed the Ipel’ River in recent months in the hope of getting resident permits in Slovakia.
The influx stopped suddenly, according to former Secianky mayor, Istvan Deak.
”About two weeks ago this whole thing almost disappeared, almost overnight. This is possibly also due to weather conditions, because of the border river, the Hungarian side and the Slovakian side are separated by Ipe’,” he said.
Viktor Lestyanszky, Ipel’ske Predostie mayor, said many residents welcomed the situation.
”They were clearly happy about it, and understandably so, because when three 30-strong groups a day appeared in the village, perhaps at night, it was a source of concern, especially for the female inhabitants of the village, or for the mothers whose little children had to walk alone to the bus to go to school,” he said.
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