Austria will introduce a fee of 160 euros at the border crossing with Hungary

Austria will introduce a fee of 160 euros at the border crossing with Hungary

Plans to collect money at the border became known this Tuesday after a joint press conference in Schattendorf between Schattendorf Mayor Thomas Hoffman and Agfalva Mayor Zsuzanna Peck.

Due to construction work to improve the pedestrian infrastructure, which cost the Austrian municipality about 110,000 euros, the border crossing has been closed since March 1. This has created a lot of hardship for thousands of Hungarian citizens who have to make a long detour every day.

“The border crossing, which has been closed since March, will reopen on July 3rd. However, prior permission is required to pass,” said the mayor of Schattendorf during a press conference. Anyone wishing to cross the border must apply at least two weeks in advance and pay a fee of 160 euros.

The Mayor explained that 140 euros of this amount will be returned in the form of vouchers that can be exchanged in Schattendorf.

The mayor of Agfalva, Hungary, Zsuzsanna Pek, was not pleased with this situation, insisting that the best solution would be to build more roads in the area, where traffic and the number of border crossings increase, rather than impose any fees.

During the press conference, the two mayors were confronted by about 30 demonstrators, commuters and pensioners from the Hungarian side, as well as sympathizers from the Austrian side, who held signs and called the plan a step against “the rights of EU citizens and Schengen rules”.

The municipality of Schattendorf has already announced the opening of applications for border crossing permits.

“There is a federal fee of €14.30 for the application (plus €3.90 per pass) . The cost of issuing a one-time document is 38.90 euros, a reusable document is 145.90 euros. These administration fees will be reimbursed to citizens with Schattendorf shopping vouchers worth €140.00,” the statement reads.

It further explains that vouchers can be used to pay at all Schattendorf stores, including Billa, the Warmbad baths, hairdressers, etc.

Both Austria and Hungary are members of the Schengen area, whose laws determine that border control between states -members must be removed so that there are no physical obstacles to freedom of movement throughout this territory.

According to the Schengen Border Code, internal border controls can generally only be restored in cases where there is a threat to the safety of citizens.

At present, six states have internal border controls in place: Norway, Denmark, Germany, Sweden, Austria and France, mainly for security reasons.

From 7 to 13 July, Lithuania also will introduce border controls at its international airports and seaports, on the land border with Latvia, on the land border with Poland in connection with the NATO summit to be held in Vilnius on 11 and 12 July.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *