Hungary posted full-page advertisements in local Lebanese newspapers Monday warning refugees and migrants from illegally crossing into the country, two weeks after Denmark took out similar ads as Europe grapples with its biggest migration crisis since World War II.
“Hungarians are hospitable,“ read the full-page English and Arabic ad, ”but the strongest possible action is taken against those who attempt to enter Hungary illegally.”
The full cost of the campaign was unknown.
The privately-owned Annahar newspaper said it had charged the Hungarian government $17,100 for a page.
The ad likely targeted the nearly 1.2 million Syrian refugees living in Lebanon, many of whom have expressed frustration with the lack of support and infrastructure available to refugees there.
On Monday, Hungary passed legislation allowing for army deployment along its own borders as refugees and migrants camped there.
“What’s taking place now is an invasion,” Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban said in a speech opening a session of parliament.
Hungary, whose conservative policies toward refugees and its police force’s use of tear gas against those massed at its borders have been criticized by some of its neighbors, including Germany, which has issued an open-door policy to refugees and promotes a unified border policy between countries in the European Union.
Last week Hungary completed the construction of a 110-mile-long fence along its border with Serbia, forcing thousands to alter their route to Germany via Croatia.
Earlier this month, Denmark took out similar cautionary ads in Lebanese newspapers. In notices that ran in four outlets, it listed tightened procedures in its immigration law, including a 50% cut to social benefits for newly-arrived refugees.
“Foreign nationals granted temporary protection in Denmark will not have the right to bring family members to Denmark during the first year,” said the ad, posted by Denmark’s Ministry of Immigration, Integration & Housing.
Denmark’s ad was posted to correct information circulating among “human traffickers and others profiting from smuggling immigrant and refugees across borders,” the ministry said.
Over 500,000 people applied to asylum for the first time in the EU since January 2015.