Budapest, September 21 (MTI) – Prime Minister Viktor Orban’s Monday address in parliament concerning measures to tackle illegal migration met with support from the ruling parties and radical nationalist Jobbik, and elicited criticism from other opposition parties.
Ruling Fidesz said that the influx of migrants cannot be tackled unless Europe declares that the continent cannot accommodate all, protects its borders, and ensures that asylum requests are evaluated outside Europe’s external borders.
The prime minister asked for the national assembly’s authorisation to involve the army in protecting the country’s borders.
In his address, the prime minister told opposition deputies that those against using the military but criticising the government for low efficiency of border control are “hypocritical”.
Concerning Hungary’s introducing tighter immigration rules, Orban said it was necessary to manage the situation, but added that Hungary cannot resolve the problem itself – stopping the influx of immigrants requires efforts by the international community. He also warned that there might be no “winter holidays” in immigration and the pressure could even increase.
Protecting the Schengen borders is not optional but mandatory for members of the European Union; either all observe those rules or the rules should be changed by a common will, Orban said.
The prime minister repeated his position against the proposed European quotas. He warned that the EU could pass a “bad decision” this week, which will be binding for all members. Should that happen, he said, Hungary’s parliament will need to set directions and “tell us what to do if we think a system is bad, we have fought against it, voted against it, still, it was passed into law and we must abide by it. What approach shall we take?” he asked.
Fidesz group leader Antal Rogan called for unity and cooperation without party affiliation.
The co-ruling Christian Democrats said that the problem should be dealt with “at its root” and aid should be provided to the countries at war; “all else is just treating symptoms”.
Jobbik called on the parliamentary parties to set aside their party policy differences and join forces to handle the migrant crisis. Fences should be built along all border sections, the Border Guards should be restored and civilians also involved in the protection of Hungary’s borders, party and group leader Gabor Vona told parliament. Hungary should bring home its soldiers from wars that triggered the current migrant wave, he said, adding that Hungary should introduce voluntary military service, he said. Read more HERE.
The opposition Socialists said that the refugee crisis cannot be resolved through “confrontational policies creating tension”. Socialist leader Jozsef Tobias said that the Dublin III rule was “over” and called for common European migration rules. He added that community funds should not only be used for crisis management but for protection of the European borders, too.
Green opposition LMP co-leader Andras Schiffer said that Europe’s borders cannot be protected without cooperation and called for a common European regime and allocation of the necessary funds. Schiffer insisted that a global crisis is now impacting Hungary, and the country “must not trample on international law”. “What will happen if all countries start building fences? What if the Austrians and Germans return all those migrants that were registered in Hungary?” he asked. Schiffer said that although recent attacks on Hungary were unfair and the borders should be controlled, “handing over protest notes to one country and then to the other” is not a good solution.