Berlin, September 12 (MTI) – It is natural to feel sympathy for migrants “but sympathy is not enough: action is needed,” Prime Minister Viktor Orban said in an interview to the Saturday edition of German daily Bild.
Asked how he felt about the Syrian boy seen washed up on a beach, Orban said he had been shocked. The loss of each and every life is a tragedy, he said. “But I also thought of his parents who had left a safe refugee camp outside Syria and risked their lives and those of their children.”
In response to a question about the extent to which the refugee crisis can be seen as a German issue, Orban said that Germany’s decision to let migrants enter its territory freely had “triggered an uprising” among the migrants in Hungary. Until then, the Hungarian authorities had managed to keep the situation under control, but Berlin’s announcement had caused “chaos”, he said.
Asked to compare the current situation with Hungary’s opening its western border in 1989, Orban said that the East German refugees had not stayed here illegally, had respected the law and Hungary let them leave for the West on its own accord.
“But now foreigners are breaking through our borders,” he said.
In response to a question about what it feels like to be Europe’s “chief villain”, Orban said “I cannot do otherwise . We Hungarians are guaranteeing the free movement of Europeans and we are protecting their borders”.
Migrants are being cheated both by human smugglers and European politicians who promise them a better life and the right to stay, even after peace has been restored in their homeland, he said.
“The honey flowing in Germany will soon seem less sweet than they hoped.” Living standards are determined by performance rather than needs, he said.
Asked about where the refugees should go if Hungary closes its borders next Tuesday, Orban said that they should return to where they came from.
“They are not arriving from a war zone, they are not fleeing danger and they are not coming to Europe to find safe haven but to have a better life, perhaps in Germany or Sweden,” he said.
Orban added that living in safety and human dignity are fundamental rights but having a better life is not.
European leaders are living “in a dream world” and are “unaware” of the dangers. “If we let everyone in, Europe will perish,” he said.
The prime minister said that at the next EU summit he would present a plan to provide substantial financial support for Syria’s neighbours. He praised Turkey for its “extraordinary performance” in handling the migration issue.
“We should say Mass for Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan every week,” he said.
Orban said the contribution of member states to the EU budget should be raised by 1 percent and EU spending earmarked for other purposes cut by 1 percent. The extra funds raised this way should be used to support Syria’s neighbours, he said.
Asked about the refugees who are already in Europe, Orban said, “none of them want to return. I am afraid they will stay here.”
Refugee quotas would only make sense if the borders are kept closed, otherwise no one will know how many people should be distributed among the member states, he said, adding that it is an “illusion” to think that the migrants sent to Estonia or Portugal under the quota system would remain there if they want to go to Germany.
Orban called on Brussels to exert greater pressure on Greece, which he said had failed to protect the EU’s external borders for years.
“Had Greece met its obligations, there would not be a refugee crisis,” he said.
Concerning the danger of Islamisation, Orban said he respected Islam but, due to migration, Muslims would become a majority in Europe in the foreseeable future.
“If Europe allows a competition of cultures, it will lose,” he said.