Daily News | Nov 4, 2018 | 2
Hungarian FM ejects Belgium PM ‘coercion’
The Hungarian government rejects Belgian Prime Minister Charles Michel’s “ultimatum” on migration, Foreign Minister Péter Szijjártó said in Bratislava on Thursday.
Szijjártó made his comment in reaction to Michel, who said in an interview with Belgian news site Le Soir on Saturday that Visegrad countries that “refuse to act in solidarity [with the rest of the EU] are being given an ultimatum”. Unless they come to a consensus on the matter at the European Council heads of government by June this year, the debate will be decided by a simple majority, Michel said.
Hungary has never been a country of immigrants; neither does it intend to become one, Szijjártó told a press conference in Bratislava, where he met Slovak foreign affairs state secretary Ivan Korcok. Michel’s “ultimatum” is “coercion”, and Hungary will never yield to it, he said.
Michel’s statement is “shocking” because it is the first occasion when Brussels openly prepares for pushing through the migration quotas, “with complete disregard of certain EU countries’ opinions”, Szijjártó said. “We find this unacceptable and refuse it,” he said. The Visegrad group is concerned by the “27 terrorist attacks perpetrated by people with migration backgrounds in Europe recently and the no-go zones in certain European cities, even if the Belgian prime minister is not concerned by them,” he said.
Korcok said the Visegrad group should not once again allow “them to vote over our heads”.
Discussing energy security, Szijjártó informed Korcok on the Hungarian-Romanian agreement to establish the technical conditions for gas exports to Hungary by 2020. From 2022, large volumes of gas extracted on the Black Sea will be available to Hungary, Szijjártó said. He added that Hungary is to start the construction of a gas pipeline between the Hungarian distribution hub and the Hungarian-Slovak interconnector. The 100-kilometre pipeline will be the last section of the “north-south energy corridor”, creating a chance for Slovakia to purchase gas from Romania, the minister said.