Interior Minister Gerhard Karner (ÖVP) discussed cooperation on external border protection with his Hungarian counterpart Sandor Pinter in Budapest on Tuesday. With regard to the shots by a smuggler on army soldiers, Karner spoke of a “dramatic situation”: “The smuggler mafia is becoming more and more brutal.” He announced “additional priority actions” against smuggling.
The officials would have to proceed “even more consistently” “in order to smash the structures”. For his part, Pinter sent a “message” to the fugitive, according to the police a 26-year-old Moldovan: “We know who he is and we will catch him.” Following the ministerial meeting in Budapest, Karner visited the police cooperation center at the Austro-Hungarian border crossing at Nickelsdorf. According to the Ministry of the Interior, 35 law enforcement officials from Austria are currently deployed in Hungary on a bilateral basis. In the next few months, the contingent is to be increased to 50 officers. The focus of the cooperation is the fight against cross-border crime, in particular smuggling, on Hungary’s borders with Serbia and Romania. At the Nickelsdorf border station, Defense Minister Klaudia Tanner (ÖVP) honored the four federal army soldiers on Tuesday afternoon who met on Monday at the border crossing at Bildein (district Güssing/Burgenland) was shot by the tractor. The soldiers were unharmed. According to the Interior Ministry, it is still unclear whether it was live ammunition or a stun gun.