Budapest, March 8 (MTI) – The leaders of the European Union have “finally come round” to the point of view that the Hungarian government has always maintained, namely that the bloc’s external borders must be sealed and the Schengen agreement upheld, Gergely Gulyás, deputy group leader of the ruling Fidesz party, told a news conference on Tuesday.
Assessing the outcome of the previous day’s EU-Turkey summit, Gulyás said, “It is in all our interest to have good cooperation with the Turks … at the same time it is not in our interest to have a bad agreement with Turkey.” He added that Prime Minister Viktor Orbán had argued at the summit that “in this form the deal with Turkey cannot be signed”.
The position of Hungary’s administration is unchanged, he said. It stands opposed to all transfers of migrants since mass inflows represent a serious danger to Europe, Gulyás said, adding that “no kind of mandatory quota and distribution mechanism is acceptable”.
The migrant route across the Balkans must be closed down and illegal migrants must be sent back, he insisted.
Gulyás said the government’s referendum initiative on the migrant quota issue opened the possibility for Hungarian voters to decide whether they want to live with the phenomenon of migration or to reject this.
The Fidesz deputy chairman also accused the left wing in Hungary of failing to adopt a clear position on the issue, adding that they supported neither the border fence or military and police defence of the border.
In response to a question regarding Orbán’s so-called veto at the Brussels EU-Turkey summit, Gulyás said the report had been correct to the extent that “the Hungarian prime minister was the first to signal that the form in which the agreement with Turkey stood throughout talks during the night could not be signed”.
The opposition Democratic Coalition (DK) earlier accused Orbán of having voted in support of mandatory migrant quotas during the extraordinary summit of European Union and Turkey leaders on Monday.
“Viktor Orbán must have approved it considering that a unanimous decision was made”, DK’s Zsolt Gréczy said, adding that Orbán “lied to ten million Hungarians” when he said that the summit was interrupted because of his veto.
The opposition LMP party said the European Union’s incapacity to tackle the migrant crisis was further deepened by Orbán’s refusal at the summit to put forward proposals. Instead, he simply stated what he would not support. József Gál, the party’s spokesman, said the outcome of the summit allowed even more space for “outside blackmail” and the idea that it is best to “take action alone than do nothing together”. He noted that LMP had put forward a package of 24 proposals in the summer of 2015 that called for a common EU-level solution to the migrant crisis.