European Union member states who refuse to implement migrant quotas are being subjected to “simple blackmail”, Hungary’s foreign minister told public television in reaction to the launch of an EU infringement procedure.
Péter Szijjártó said Hungary was opposed to the commission’s position and would not allow “a single illegal migrant” into the country.
He insisted that the commission was attempting to cover up its “dismal failure” regarding the whole enterprise, given that the decision to distribute 120,000 people among member states had been taken two years ago, yet only 20,000 have been relocated so far.
Szijjártó said that no country had fully implemented the EU decision. Countries such as Hungary at least have stated clearly why they refused to, he added.
The minister said the EC plan was “extremely dangerous” given the grave threat of terrorism hanging over the continent. It was impossible, he said, to know who is who among the 1.5 million illegal entrants to Europe.
The EC infringement notice is “hypocritical” because the Greek commissioner, in his capacity in 2013 as the country’s defence minister, had welcomed Greece’s decision to build a fence on the Turkish border to thwart the migration wave, he said. Now, however, “he is giving reasons why a fence should not be built,” Szijjártó added.
Speaking at a press conference on another subject, Szijjártó criticised the EC for “ignoring” the threat of terrorism while launching infringement procedures over the migrant quota issue.
“Why won’t the European Commission discuss how we can give security back to the European people?” Szijjarto asked, arguing that hundreds of people have been killed in terrorist attacks across the continent within a short time period. “Why won’t the commission discuss how we can address the threat of terrorism in Europe?”
The EU is “great at singling out” Hungary, Poland and the Czech Republic, “but this is a sign of double standards” being employed in Europe, Szijjártó said.
The minister said the EC “cannot be allowed” to take away member states’ rights to decide whom they want to let into their country and whom they want to live together with.