In a roundtable discussion at the German Embassy in Budapest, deputy speaker of parliament Gergely Gulyás said that an assertion by German Chancellor Angela Merkel that the Hungarian government “misled” migrants arriving in the country in September 2015 was mistaken.
In an interview to German paper Welt am Sonntag at the weekend, Merkel said that migrants who had departed from Budapest on foot towards the Austrian border in 2015 had done so because they had been “misled” by the Hungarian government, adding that the fact “some countries refuse to accept any refugees is not on. That contradicts the spirit of Europe.”
In response to comments by Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung correspondent Stephan Loewenstein and Krisztián Szabados, the director of think-tank Political Capital, Gulyás said that despite disagreements on issues such as the resettlement quota for asylum seekers and migration policy, the bilateral relationship “is based on mutual respect and appreciation”. Europe, he added, does best under Germany’s leadership.
At the event late on Tuesday, Gulyás of ruling Fidesz party, at the same noted that the volume of trade between the Visegrad Group and Germany was higher than German-French trade.
In reaction to Szabados’s remark that by visiting conservative CSU leader Horst Seehofer, Prime Minister Viktor Orbán had “interfered with German interior affairs”, Gulyas said that “conservative CDU/CSU are our allies, our only possible allies in Germany”.
Volkmar Wenzel, Germany’s incoming ambassador to Hungary, was also introduced at the event.
As we wrote on Monday, irreconcilable differences will remain between Hungary and “pro-migration governments” because Hungary will “not give in”, Foreign Minister Péter Szijjártó said.