In light of Austria’s new anti-migration policy, Hungary can only avoid becoming the collection point for migrants “if we do not allow migrants to enter the country now and after the election”, Foreign Minister Péter Szijjártó said in Tapolca, in western Hungary, on Friday.
Szijjártó noted that the Austrian interior minister had announced a policy to cut the number of asylum applications submitted in Austria to zero.
“This means that if there’s a change of power in Hungary after the April 8 election that ushers in a pro-migration government, then Hungary could easily become a collection point for the migrant population, since arrivals would not be able to move on to western Europe,” the minister told public media.
To ensure that not a single migrant enters Hungary, the work of the current government must continue, he said.
Szijjártó gave warning that migration pressure was still present. In Africa and the Middle East, tens of millions of people are internally displaced or already on the move and receiving humanitarian aid. They could decide to migrate at any time, he said. “And if they start out, they will head towards Europe.”
Various agencies also report about Afghans entering Pakistan and then moving on to Europe because they don’t feel welcome there, the minister said.
In Austria, the number of foreign offenders has doubled in the past ten years, he said, adding that this was “largely related to Afghan immigrants”.
Szijjártó said Hungary faced pressure on two fronts after the elections if the current hardline migration policy changed: Brussels, he noted, wanted to relocate migrants already present in Europe, and migrants on the way to Europe would get stuck in Hungary because of current Austrian resistance to them.
He pledged that the government would work to prevent the introduction of the mandatory quota system.
Szijjártó said the current Fidesz government would guarantee the retention of strict border controls and continue its anti-migration policy.