Brussels, November 10 (MTI) – The European Commission should include Hungary’s extraordinary spending in connection with the migration crisis in its calculations of the country’s public finance deficit, Economy Minister Mihaly Varga said on Tuesday.
Speaking on the sidelines of a meeting of European finance ministers in Brussels, Varga said that one such expense item was the cost of the wire fence along Hungary’s southern border.
“Let’s not be chumps. If there is such a possibility, then we, too, must speak out and try to have these costs accounted,” Varga said. There is a debate at the EU level as to what expenditures could get special treatment, and the EC is also being more flexible than earlier on the matter, he added.
“I trust that the European Commission will be fair to those that have enforced community regulations,” Varga said and stressed that Hungary had closed its green border in an effort to secure the EU’s external borders.
Since the beginning of the year, Hungary has paid out 30 billion forints (EUR 96m) in connection with the migration crisis and will spend another 10 billion to cover incoming items, Varga said. He added that parliament had decided to set aside a further 60 billion forints for the same purpose. By comparison, he said that the European Union had granted Hungary a mere 4 million euros to cover such expenses.
Varga called it an “illusion” that immigration could solve economic or social problems. He said “several commissioners” think that migration is “a kind of investment with a positive yield in the long run”.
Varga voiced disagreement with that position and said that immigration would ruin competition in the long term, and the integration of newcomers “may not at all prove to be complete success”.
The minister insisted that economic problems should be addressed through education for the jobless, and noted that the EU as a whole has significant labour reserves.
As for Hungary, its government prefers helping families to supporting immigration, Varga added.
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