Vienna, June 6 (MTI) – The number of migrants arriving in Europe last autumn soared after Germany’s announcement that they would all be received, so responsibility does not lie with Hungary, government spokesman Zoltán Kovács said on Monday.
In response to a recent report by German daily Bild which claimed that Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán misled the German and Austrian chancellors about the situation last autumn, Kovacs told an international press roundtable at the Hungarian embassy in Vienna that it is enough to observe the numbers before and after Germany’s announcement to see who was responsible.
Before Hungary built a fence on its border and ever since Hungary has upheld the relevant European laws, Kovács said. The real dividing line is between those who try to obey the rules and those who disregard them or knowingly disobey them because of certain interests, public sentiment or political affiliation, he said.
Hungary is focusing on protecting its borders and will allow entry only to those who are eligible. Many thousands of refugees have ended up staying in Europe because it was not possible to send them back, he added.
In response to a question about Austrian Chancellor Christian Kern’s criticism of Hungary’s refugee policy, he said it was “regrettable” that Kern’s approach seemed little different from his predecessor’s. “There is no need to speak to one another without respect”, he added.