Keeping migrants in custody not equal to detention, says Orbán in Brussles
Brussels, March 10 (MTI) – Keeping migrants in custody while their asylum request is being assessed is not the same as detaining them because they are free to leave for Serbia at any time, Prime Minister Viktor Orbán said on Friday.
European Union leaders did not raise objections against the new Hungarian regulations at talks about the new migration rules because Hungary’s regulations are the same as those also urged by Germany and Austria, Orbán told a press conference after a summit meeting of EU heads of state and government in Brussels.
Under the new regulations, no migrants can arrive in Germany from Hungary’s territory or move around Europe without making the reason for their entry into the European Union clear, Orbán added.
Hungary’s position is consistent and meets the interests of both Austria and Germany, Orbán said, arguing that the separation of asylum-seekers and economic migrants can only be completed in a legal procedure outside the European Union’s territory.
Orbán hailed it as a “success” that leaders of the other EU member states understood the aim of the new Hungarian regulation.
“How far we will be able to go with bureaucrats in Brussels is a different story,” Orbán said, referring to objections they would direct to Hungary and their powers forcing the member states to change their regulations. “We still have a battle to wage,” he said.
Migration pressure must be resisted rather than handled in a “humane way”, he said. Hungary wants to prevent migrants from coming to Europe, Orbán said. If any country lets them enter its territory, it should not send them elsewhere, Hungary does not wish to accept migrants as it wants to maintain its cultural and ethnic composition, he said.
Commenting on reports about migrants sustaining injuries in actions carried out by authorities, Orbán said he had no knowledge of any instance that might have occurred on Hungarian soil. Instances investigated so far occurred in neighbouring Serbia’s territory, Orbán said, and stated his firm support for Hungarian police officers and troops.
He announced that Hungary would set up a body tasked with “monitoring” the situation of Hungarians working in Austria in light of the new regulations planned to be introduced in that neighbouring country.
Orbán said he told Austrian Chancellor Christian Kern at their talks on the sidelines of the Brussels summit that if their situation “deteriorates”, Hungary would create a similar, “proportionate” situation on its side.
Austrian-Hungarian relations have been smooth so far and there is no reason to change them, Orbán said. The two premiers agreed on the need to prevent any deterioration in bilateral ties as a whole, and that the conflicts should be limited to the areas they arise in.
Photo: Balázs Szecsődi