Berlin (MTI) – It is the terrorists and not the Hungarian government, who confuse migration with terrorism, Zoltán Balog, the human resources minister, told German international broadcaster Deutsche Welle in an interview on Sunday.
A year ago, Hungary’s rejection of the European Union’s migrant quota scheme may have seemed like a populist policy, but the attacks in Paris and Brussels have demonstrated that there is indeed a link between “uncontrolled migration” and terrorism, Balog said.
Speaking about Hungary’s border fence, Balog said Hungarians do not like living behind such a structure, but added that Hungary was forced to erect the barrier because the EU took too long to respond to the massive migrant inflow.
He said European criticism of the fence was “unfair” because by installing it, Hungary was the only EU member state that was able and willing to observe community regulations.
Regarding last September’s clashes between migrants and police on the Hungarian-Serbian border, the minister said Hungarian authorities had “clearly been provoked” by the migrants. Authorities are currently investigating the role human smugglers may have had in the incident, Balog said.
He said “time will tell” if the government made the right choice in launching a national consultation and a billboard campaign on the dangers of mass migration last year.
The minister insisted that Hungary fulfills all of its humanitarian and legal commitments pertaining to the care of refugees.
He said Hungary is committed to continuing the social integration of the country’s Roma population. He added, however, that Brussels saying that the funds provided for integrating the Roma should also be used to cover the aid given to refugees “sends the wrong signal”.
Asked to give his opinion about Prime Minister Viktor Orbán, Balog said he felt that “leadership” in Europe was lacking, and said the people deserve to have a leader who speaks frankly about their situation and their future. This is what Orbán does, he said. Balog said he knows Orbán to be a person who can be persuaded by sound arguments.