Budapest, September 29 (MTI) – The European Commission aims to “legalise illegal migration”, the government office chief said on Thursday.
Unlike Brussels, the Hungarian government wants to stop illegal migration, János Lázár said in his weekly news conference. Central European countries share the view that migration is not needed and that it is “inconceivable” that they would allow migrants to be settled in their countries, Lázár added.
He said Hungarian voters were not anti-European but rather had “a problem with Brussels”. It is hard for Hungarians to accept that the commission wants to take away Hungary’s right to determine who can or cannot live in the country. This is a right Hungary cannot relinquish, Lázár said, arguing that it is a matter of national sovereignty.
He reiterated the government’s position that the Oct. 2 migrant quota referendum is a national issue that stands above party politics. Lázár urged all Hungarian citizens to take part in the vote on Sunday. He insisted that a referendum was the strongest among democratic institutions and offered an opportunity for voters to express their opinion, this time on a matter “concerning their own lives”.
European plans to “automatically distribute migrants” is against the interests of Hungarians, Lázár said.
High turnout at the Oct. 2 referendum is important, he said. “It is important that people see eye to eye and cooperate over a fundamental cause,” Lázár said. The lack of such cooperation would “weaken Hungary in battles in Brussels,” he added.
Concerning reports that perpetrators of the Paris and Brussels terrorist attacks had stayed in Hungary undetected in 2015, Lázár said it had been impossible to control several hundred thousand people crossing the country who had refused to cooperate with the authorities. Sealing Hungary’s borders is a “sufficient guarantee for the full screening” of migrants and has reduced the risk of entry with false documents to a minimum, he said.
Referring to plans under which some 148,000 migrants earlier registered in Hungary would be returned to the country by Austria, Germany and Scandinavian states, Lázár reiterated the government’s position that Hungary would refuse to accommodate them. Those people entered the EU in Greece, Lázár said. He also criticised the Scandinavian countries as “the EU’s richest” planning to send migrants to “much poorer” Hungary.
Answering a question about Hungary’s solidarity with the rest of the EU, Lázár said “our solidarity lies in building the fence and ensuring daily control”. He added it would “unrealistic” to epect Hungary to make “material contributions by western standards”.