The European Union’s borders must be protected in a way that nobody should be either accepted or allowed to enter the continent, the Hungarian prime minister told German Bild Zeitung in an interview published online.
“Every single migrant who has been rescued must return to Africa. This is the only way to prevent a great number of deaths occurring at sea,” Viktor Orbán told the paper.
Establishing a migration policy should not be a common matter for the EU as a bloc; it should remain a national competence for each individual member state, he said.
Orbán said the responsibility rested primarily with those who decide to make the journey to Europe, adding that European politicians who give migrants the hope that it is worth leaving their homes were also to blame.
“If we want to save lives we must stop people at the southern shores of the Mediterranean Sea to prevent them from setting off on their hopeless journey,” he said.
He noted three key measures Hungary had put in place to tackle illegal migration over the past three years. These include protecting the country’s borders along with the EU’s external borders, providing help to people in need in their home countries and allowing every member state the sovereign decision of whether or not to take in migrants, he said.
Asked whether Hungary would be ready to accept migrants on a voluntary basis, Orbán said that Hungarian people had clearly voted against this in April.
Hungary provides help to women and children at its borders, but refuses to allow economic migrants to enter its territory, he said.
Asked about remarks made by the German chancellor following a recent EU summit in Brussels on “an agreement” with Hungary on the acceptance and relocation of migrants, Orbán said he had reaffirmed to Angela Merkel that Hungary was ready for talks on the matter “at any time”. Asked to give his opinion on the German chancellor’s performance, Orbán said it was not his, but the German people’s job.
The prime minister was also asked about US financier George Soros and anti-Semitism.
Orbán said he saw “an old Hungarian speculator” in Soros, “a representative of a casino capitalism, who is spending his money on supporting immigration”.
Concerning anti-Semitism, Orbán said it was in decline in central Europe, but had become more prevalent in western Europe in acts that can be linked to immigration which “Hungary follows with concern”.