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Zelei, Miklós

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Élet és Irodalom - Hungary | 06/01/2006

A Village divided by the Schengen Border

Reporter Miklos Zelei recounts old and new absurdities about borders. He travelled to the village of Szelmenc, which was divided in two by the Slovak-Ukrainian border following the Second World War and which is populated by a lot of Hungarians. Over the past 60 years, every time villagers from one side of the village wanted to visit the other side of the village, they had to travel hundreds of kilometres to obtain a visa at great expense. On December 23, the first border crossing point within the village was opened. Under the Schengen Agreement, however, this is causing new complications. "As Slovak and EU citizens, the Hungarians from one side of the village don't require a visa to cross the border to Ukraine, but the Hungarians from the side which belongs to Ukraine still need to obtain a visa to cross the border."

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