Government: The European Commission attempting to pressurise Hungary
The European Commission is using the infringement procedure it launched against Hungary earlier this week over the issue of migrant distribution quotas to pressurise the Hungarian government and parliament to change their position on migrant quotas, the government office chief said on Thursday.
“This is not an option,” János Lázár told a weekly press briefing.
Hungary has not taken in any migrants and it does not intend to in the future either, Lázár said.
He said Hungary had already “done its part” in showing solidarity over the migrant crisis, arguing that Hungary’s border protection measures had stopped the flow of migrants towards Austria and Germany via the Balkans route.
Hungary’s stance is to “stop migration rather than organise it”, Lázár said.
He said that Brussels had applied double standards against Hungary by constantly punishing the country instead of recognising its efforts.
“They want to redistribute 98,255 migrants among European countries on a mandatory basis. This fits the plans [US financier] George Soros has dictated to EU leaders,” Lázár said. So far 20,000 people have been transferred from one country to another, which means that “the programme has not been implemented”, he said, suggesting that the majority of EU members were boycotting the decision.
Asked about recent reports that the human smugglers responsible for the death of 71 migrants had been wiretapped by Hungarian police, Lázár dismissed the possibility that the victims could have been saved from suffocation in the truck during its journey through Hungary into Austria had the recording been translated earlier. Conversations tapped by the police “are not evaluated immediately”, he said, adding that “translating the language used by the perpetrators was a problem” partly because the police’s resources had been directed elsewhere at the time. “Had it not been for the Hungarian police the perpetrators would had never been identified”.
“No professional mistake was made,” he said.
In addition, he insisted that the German public media was “waging a smear campaign” against Hungary “because it refuses to accommodate illegal migrants from Germany”.
In a statement on Thursday, the ministry of interior said the Hungarian authorities had no access of information at the end of August 2015 that could have prevented the deaths of the 71 migrants.
The German public media reporters in question drew unfounded conclusions by insisting that the tragedy could have been avoided had the Hungarian authorities translated and assessed the recordings of the phone conversations sooner.
The authorities had recorded members of the criminal gang speaking in Bulgarian, Serbian and Pashtu, but in accordance with technical and professional rules, their conversations were not listened to, translated or evaluated simultaneously. The investigative authority received the recorded material on September 4, 2015, the statement said, adding that the German reporters were well aware of this fact.
Further, it was not in Hungary that the victims had agreed with the smugglers on the conditions or mode of their transport and no Hungarian citizens had been involved in committing the crime, the ministry said. After the tragedy had become known the Hungarian authorities, based on information received by their Austrian counterparts, acted within 12 hours to identify the suspects and their suspected places of residence, before capturing them.