Budapest (MTI) – “Hungary is full,” government spokesperson Zoltan Kovacs told public news channel M1 on Tuesday regarding the immigration authority’s decision to suspend for an indefinite period the European agreement on asylum, the so-called Dublin regulation on transfers.
Kovacs said it had been discussed for weeks that Hungary could not take in any more asylum-seekers as there are 600-800 illegal immigrants entering the country on a daily basis, creating a “huge burden” for those charged with registering asylum-seekers.
The spokesman said Hungary over-delivers “in the struggle” with the refugee crisis, adding that it was unfair to only discuss the crisis Mediterranean countries are facing.
He said Hungary would be unable to process the return of asylum-seekers whose requests were not approved in other member states.
Asked whether Hungary had a right to suspend the Dublin Regulation, Kovacs said the country “hardly has any other choice”, adding that it is not prepared for the influx of refugees.
He said the EU has no answer to the crisis either, and that the government continues to await measures that could resolve the situation on a European level.
The Dublin Regulation states that the first EU member state which the asylum-seeker entered is responsible for taking charge of the asylum request.
The leftist opposition Democratic Coalition (DK) party said that the government “has written Hungary out of Europe” by citing a technical issue as its reason for suspending the asylum agreement. In a statement, the party said the government had “deliberately violated an important international agreement” in the interest of its political goals. DK said Hungary does not take the least responsibility for refugees registered in the country, and the government’s move was an “own goal” since there would be even more refugees in the future.
The opposition Egyutt party said the government “has failed in terms of humanity” and is constantly hurting national interests “by isolating Hungary from our Western allies”. The party said it was “unacceptable” that the government was refusing to help people whose lives are under threat.