Budapest, May 8 (MTI) – Hungary would be capable of protecting its borders against illegal immigration if only there were no “unrealistic” European Union rules to observe on the matter, Prime Minister Viktor Orban said in his regular Friday interview on public radio.
Orban told Kossuth Radio that illegal immigration should be seen as a violation of the law rather than a “venial sin”.
He noted that the number of migrants crossing illegally to Hungary has increased twentyfold over the past three years, an outsized figure in European comparison.
“And as soon as the Austrians and the Germans prevent illegal border crossing at their own borders, all illegal migrants arriving in Hungary will end up staying … This could jeopardise local jobs and livelihoods,” Orban said.
“If the EU does not force unrealistic rules on us … or if we can get rid of these rules — and this is what we are preparing to do — then we will be able to protect Hungary from economic immigrants,” he said.
Illegal immigrants must be detained and the relevant legal procedures conducted, he said, adding, however, that the possibility of asylum must be allowed for people who can prove they are politically persecuted.
He said the reaction of Brussels to Hungarian plans is not critical but rather an acknowledgement of its position. Hungary is the only country which speaks openly and clearly about the problem, he insisted. And those that do so are open to being argued with, Orban added.
The prime minister said the idea floated in Europe to let refugees into a country and then distribute them among other EU countries was a “crazy idea”. What is now needed is not solidarity but law enforcement, he said.
“Each country should protect its own borders,” he said, adding that a common European action should seek solutions to the problem outside the continent.
He said he shared the opinion that vessels of human smugglers must be seized and destroyed and people potential illegal migrants should be prevented from leaving their country. Greater efforts should be taken to provide support to countries of departure in strengthening their border controls, Orban said.