October 3, 2023

‘This is not an isolated case,’ a German couple reported after a bike tour

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The short trip made by a German couple had serious consequences: a criminal complaint was filed in Romania. It is not an isolated case.

Bucharest – Countries located in Eastern Europe, Hungary and Romania are members of the European Union. Two tourists from Germany explain why they did not know they had committed a crime on their vacation.

Her crime was not severe Like the tourist vacation scandal in Italy. But it immediately sounded the alarm with the authorities in Hungary and Romania, like the news portal Digi24.ro mentioned. But vacationers did not notice this at first. German tourists wanted to ride their bikes for a ride in the nearby Romanian region, namely from Garbolcz in Hungary to Bercu (Satu Mare) in Romania, which is only about 4 kilometers away. They had their GPS calculate the route there, which directed them to their destination away from all the major roads and border crossings.

A German couple reports after a bike tour: The border with Romania is dangerous for vacationers. (icon image) © Roland Hartig / IMAGO / Icon image

Vacations with consequences: Bike tours can become “transnational scams.”

The temporary border crossing point on the side road they were driving on at the time of riding their bike was closed. Without suspecting anything bad, the cyclists crossed the vacant barrier and thus entered Romanian territory – illegally – reported the representative of the border police. Digi24.ro. Shortly thereafter, the Hungarian authorities sounded the alarm and broadcast video footage of the cyclists to the Romanian side. After she becomes acquainted with the two, she charges them with fraudulently crossing state lines.

The arrested tourists told the Hungarian authorities that they were not aware of their crime. Because they are used to traveling freely across Europe without customs controls. This case is actually not an isolated case, as per reports Digi24.ro tracking. In fact, it is common for EU tourists to unintentionally break the law by bicycle, motorbike, or even on foot.

Holidays in Europe: Border control in European Union countries is also possible

The reason: In most cases, EU citizens no longer face border controls within Europe due to the Schengen Agreement. However, it is important to know that not all EU countries are actually Schengen countries and vice versa. Schengen countries include:

  • Germany
  • Belgium
  • Denmark
  • Estonia
  • Finland
  • France
  • Greece
  • Iceland
  • Italy
  • Croatia
  • Latvia
  • Liechtenstein
  • Lithuania
  • Luxembourg
  • Malta
  • Holland
  • Norway
  • Austria
  • Poland
  • Portugal
  • Sweden
  • Switzerland
  • Slovakia
  • Slovenia
  • Spain
  • Czech Republic
  • Hungary
  • source: Ministry of Foreign Affairs

So it is all EU countries, with the exception of Ireland, Bulgaria, Romania and Cyprus. In the last three countries, the Schengen Agreement has been partially implemented so far. Therefore, personal searches are still being carried out there at the internal borders for the time being. In addition to the member states of the European Union, the Schengen countries also include Iceland, Norway, Switzerland and Liechtenstein.

Criminal complaint after vacation in Romania: Not an isolated case, but still punishable

Hungarian Attorney General Sato Mari issued a “waiver” in this case. There are ten temporary border crossings on the Romanian border with Hungary, which are only open on Saturdays from 10am to 6pm (Romanian time). It can be assumed that this circumstance is partly responsible for unintentional illegal border crossings.

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Many of these incidents were recorded in the Satu Mare District Area of ​​Responsibility – but in all cases the subjects had legal travel documents. However, Border Police spokeswoman Satu Mari, Chief Inspector of Police Awana Perkulap, said those who had not previously seen local regulations and relied solely on data from GPS ran the risk of being inadvertently punished. Digi24.ro. Meanwhile, vacationers in France are threatened with a huge fine – if they ignore a new traffic light. (unavailable)