Budapest (MTI) – The European Commission’s recent package of proposals concerning the migration crisis is “anti-democratic and inhumane”, Janos Lazar, head of the government office, said in a regular government press briefing on Thursday.
The European proposal under which member states would be fined 250,000 euros per migrant rejected would deprive members of their right to self-determination, Lázár said. In an extreme case, moving migrants to Hungary could significantly change the country’s demographics. What’s happening is that those who “invited” the migrants to Europe have picked some and now want to distribute the “remainder”, Lázár said.
The proposal is inhumane because “it ignores the intentions of migrants” who do not want to come to eastern Europe but stay in Germany, he said. It “evokes the darkest years of Europe” because “it would appraise people by their origin”, which goes against all European values, he added.
Lázár said the European Commission’s proposal is “blackmail ” and in response to a question, he said it would be wrong if Germany, being one of the richest countries in the world, made Hungary pay for settling the issue.
The minister said that the government “cannot stop Brussels” on its own and he called the cooperation of “every Hungarian”. Parliament should pass the government’s relevant referendum initiative as early as possible, he urged.
Lázár said Prime Minister Viktor Orbán had asked the interior minister to look into reports of altercations between migrants and female students of the police academy in Körmend, in western Hungary. The migrants were placed in accommodation at the site of the police academy where the female students regularly play sports in the gym. Migrants were reported to have “accosted” the women and broken windows during their training, Lázár said, citing police reports.
He said the government would contact Körmend mayor István Bebes, of the ruling Fidesz-Christian Democrats, adding that local leaders had protested against the opening of a reception centre for migrants. The centre is only a temporary facilty which is open or closed depending on how many people arrive at the border. The capacity of the facility in Körmend is 300 and there are similar “open” centres in Vámosszabadi and Bicske, with a capacity of 490 and 1,120, respectively.
There are 440 inhabitants in a “closed”, guarded facility in Kiskunhalas, 28 in Nyírbátor and 153 in Békéscsaba, Lázár said.
Under a proposal submitted to parliament, an 8km zone will be specified to guarantee the protection of the border and if anybody is caught within this zone they will be returned immeditely.
In response to a question linked to a report by the German paper Die Welt asking whether the centre has been placed in Körmend because Hungary hopes that asylum seekers leave for nearby Austria, he rejected the report as “a lie”. Lázár said the locations were picked on the basis of whether they included state-owned facilities that could be locked if needed and whether the town had already hosted such facilities in the past. In the case of Körmend, the main consideration was that it includes a police vocational school.
In response to a question about the national health fund OEP’s future, Lázár said it will be reorganised and a high-ranking expert will be appointed to help distribute the fund’s tasks between the state treasury and the human resources ministry.
The majority of tasks, such as payment for in kind services, will be transferred to the state treasury, he said. Under a decision made on Wednesday, the rest of the OEP’s tasks will be transferred to the ministry in one or more steps, he added.
Concerns have been expressed by several senior officials in the OEP and the ministry but the only compromise possible could be in the scheduling of changes, Lázár said.