Berlin, September 17 (MTI) – Hungarians today are just the same nation that admitted East German refugees 25 years ago and was the first to grant safe haven to refugees from disintegrating, war-torn Yugoslavia in the early 1990s, Human Resources Minister Zoltan Balog told a political roundtable programme aired by German public television channel ARD late on Wednesday.
Hungarians have not changed, and their approach to the current crisis and worries about retaining “cultural balance” cannot be understood without knowing the history of eastern Europe, the minister said.
Speaking about the admission of Muslims, Balog said that giving shelter to refugees, irrespective of their religion and origin, is a legal and moral obligation, one that Hungary has fulfilled by admitting thousands of Muslims over the past few years.
One should respect, however, if a country wants to preserve its historical and cultural traditions, he said.
Balog called the migrant crisis a European rather than a Hungarian affair. Although the Hungarian government seeks to contribute to its solution with “tougher” means, it fully abides by the rules of EU and international law, he said.
The minister noted that over the past few months 200,000 migrants “had invaded” Hungary while the “messages” issued in some European capitals had even exacerbated the “chaos”.
The Hungarian authorities, Balog said, failed to complete all asylum procedures because most migrants left the country beforehand. He said that 95 percent of those migrants asked said that they wanted to continue their journey to another country.