Budapest (MTI) – Hungary’s fence along the border with Serbia speeds up the flow of migrants into the country as opposed to halting it, Socialist leader Jozsef Tobias told a press conference on Friday.
He said that recent measures by the government such as the questionnaire on migration and terrorism, the “hateful” billboard campaign and the construction of a border fence have weakened the public’s sense of safety.
Tobias said it was because of the escalation of the migrant crisis that tragedies, such as the recent death of 71 migrants who likely suffocated in a truck, could occur. He said the government had addressed the crisis “only through political battles”.
The Socialist leader said it was unfortunate that Prime Minister Viktor Orban had not attended Thursday’s Western Balkans Summit in Vienna focusing on migration. He said the government had all the means needed to improve the public’s sense of safety and to put together a common EU migration policy with European leaders. Tobias noted that his party had submitted “numerous” proposals for dealing with the crisis on both a national and a European level.
In response to questions, Tobias said the government had known of estimates on the number of migrants heading toward Hungary since January. He noted that Fidesz lawmaker Lajos Kosa, who heads parliament’s defence committee, had said that Hungary was expecting to receive about 100,000 thousand migrants. Tobias said that “if Fidesz seriously believes that the migrant crisis is a national issue, it must consult opposition leaders to find a solution together.”
Ruling Fidesz responded to the Socialist leader’s remarks in a statement saying that half a year ago Tobias did not consider migration to be a real problem. Fidesz said that if it were up to the Socialists, Hungary’s borders would be left unprotected and everyone would be allowed to enter freely. The party said the Socialist leader holds the same irresponsible pro-migration position that is promoted by the EU’s “failed” migration policy.
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