The leaders of Hungary, Poland, the Czech Republic and Slovakia are meeting Monday to discuss a controversial plan to build a fence in order to stop migrants from entering southern Europe and traveling on through the rest of the region.
Also known as the Visegard (V4) group, representatives of the four countries are holding an informal meeting – ahead of an important European Union (EU) summit Thursday and Friday – to discuss a plan to build a razor-wire fence and close Macedonia and Bulgaria’s borders with Greece, effectively blocking the country from the rest of Europe and signaling the end of the Schengen zone, Europe’s 26-nation passport-free travel region.
In 2015, over a million people reached Europe’s shores — nearly half of them Syrians fleeing a civil war that is entering its fifth year.
However, anti-migrant and anti-refugee sentiment has grown in the past few months, mainly in Central and Southern Europe.
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