Hungary must be protected from illegal migration, the head of the Prime Minister’s Office told public radio on Sunday, noting the government’s related proposals to change the constitution and enact the “Stop Soros” law.
Gergely Gulyás said the standpoint of the United Nations and European Union were very different from the Hungarian government’s, hueing to the position of organisations that support migration.
“There is no common position on illegal migration in Europe,” he said.
The government’s view, he noted, is that migrants do not have the right to choose which country to live in. The first safe country that grants them asylum is where they should stay, he added.
During the Yugoslav wars in the 1990s, Hungary, as the first safe country, provided home to tens of thousands of real refugees, he said.
Criminalising illegal migration deprives smugglers of their means and prevents illegal migration, Gulyás said.
He also noted that the low number of votes cast in the April 8 general election for the opposition, besides the anti-immigration Jobbik party, showed Hungarians’ general attitude to migration. He added that in the 2016 referendum on the EU mandatory quota system, 3.4 million people said no to it.
“Hungarian voters decide whom they want to live with and whom they do not,” he said.
The UN or any other international organisation should not have a say over the heads of the democratically elected government, he added.
Asked about criticism that Hungary had failed to show solidarity, Gulyás said the Hungarian government did not have to explain itself: the fence built on the southern borders protects the EU’s external borders and this is Hungary’s show of solidarity, protecting as it does one of the EU’s greatest achievements, namely free movement between the bloc’s internal borders.
Featured image: MTI/AP