Vienna, September 16 (MTI) – Mandatory quotas to distribute refugees would be against fundamental interests of all European Union members, however, if the EU passes that proposal into law, Hungary must accept it, Prime Minister Viktor Orban said in an interview published online by Austria’s Die Presse and by the German Die Welt on Wednesday.
PROS AND CONS OF THE QUOTA SYSTEM
We are ready to discuss quotas, but exclusively on a voluntary basis and only when the influx of migrants is over, Orban insisted.
In his interview, Orban also said that Hungary is planning to set up a fence along certain sections of its border with Croatia.
Answering a question suggesting that such construction takes time, Orban voiced confidence that “Hungary now has the experience”.
Orban added, however, that “real power is not constituted by a fence” and referred to Hungary’s new laws introducing strict punishment for illegal border crossing. “We have sent the police and the military to the border. This should make it clear that though migrants have the opportunity to apply for asylum, they must observe our regulations,” he said.
Orban referred to the Geneva Convention, and said that asylum-seekers do not have a choice between countries. They are entitled to protection, but that protection should be granted by neighbouring countries and then they can apply to move onto a third country.
Asked if Hungary would send refugees back to countries like war-stricken Syria, Orban said “the international community cannot aim to accept and accommodate all refugees; all Syrians leaving Syria cannot be an objective”. “We need to make political efforts to make Syria again a liveable country,” he said.
Answering another question, Orban said that Hungary had received 1,500 families during the past five years, mostly after the Arab Spring.
“I made an agreement with Coptic Christians in 2012. Naturally we are ready to include further refugees but it is not the time to discuss that”, Orban said. “For now, a way should be found to stop the migrants, to put an end to the chaos” he added.
Orban repeated his position that immigrants are a threat to Europe’s identity. He argued that western governments’ efforts to integrate Muslim communities have failed, and “we, Hungarians, do not want parallel societies because Christians, numerically, would be on the losing side; if we allow Muslims on the continent, they will soon outnumber us”.
“Muslims are stronger (than Christians); they respect life, the family, and children more, and they have a higher respect for cultural unity,” he said. Muslim immigrants in Europe seek a better life but they would not change their attitude or culture, an “illusion many Europeans would buy”, the prime minister said.
Orban quoted German Chancellor Angela Merkel as saying that “multi-culturalism is dead” and insisted that “we have the right not to follow others on ill-advised paths… we wish to go on our own, thousand-year-old way.”