New waves of migration triggered by famine could put unprecedented pressure on Europe, Péter Szijjártó, the foreign minister, said after a meeting of five central European foreign ministers in Budapest on Wednesday.
Hungary faces the dual pressure, having taken in more than 830,000 refugees from Ukraine while preventing 120,000 illegal migrants from entering at the southern border, Szijjarto told a press conference.
He said Hungary would continue to care for refugees while stopping illegal migration at its border, adding that the country has spent 1.6 billion euros on those two tasks, while Brussels had reimbursed only 2 percent of the costs so far.
Addressing energy issues, the minister said Hungary’s natural gas storage facilities were 44 percent full and were being filled up further.
“Care for refugees” – code for being a transit country for people fleeing Ukraine. Refugees moving immediately onwards to other countries of the EU (or the UK, if you can get a visa!).
Not many are staying – we are not “taking them in”. There is no enduring burden of supporting refugees in Hungary, which Mr. Szijjártó appears to be suggesting. The EU countries where the Ukrainian refugees ultimately end up foot that bill!