Prime Minister Viktor Orbán, in a letter to European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker, has called on the EU to contribute half the cost of protecting the bloc’s external border incurred by Hungary.
“Our country is protecting not only itself but also entire Europe against the flood of illegal migrants,” the letter sent to MTI by the PM’s press chief on Friday said.
“I am contacting you regarding the protection of the external borders of the European Union and European solidarity. As you well know, Hungary has been following the Schengen rules since the very beginning of the migration crisis, requiring the protection of the external borders,” Orbán wrote, adding that Hungary has built the fence, trained three thousand border-hunters and put them into active service.
“It is not an exaggeration to say that the security of European citizens was financed by Hungarian taxpayers,” he wrote, adding that protecting the external borders had cost Hungary 270 billion forints (EUR 883m), a sum that was unforeseen and “a significant burden” on the Hungarian budget.
“It is high time for European solidarity to prevail in practice in the field of border protection…” the letter said. “We are convinced that, similarly to the cases of Greece and Italy, the European Union should take part in bearing the extraordinary expenses that incurred in Hungary but served the common interest of the European Union,” Orbán wrote.