Orbán’s cabinet ready for Brussels to lean heavily on Hungary due to migrant policy
Budapest, March 30 (MTI) – The government expects strong pressure to be exercised by the European Commission, the Strasbourg court and civil organisations due to the country’s migration policy, the government office chief said on Thursday.
The EC is likely to pressurise Budapest in order to force Hungary to approve the mandatory EU migrant quota, János Lázár told a weekly press conference. He added that the government understands that the launch of a related court case could be announced in the near future.
Several decisions are expected to be made by the European Court of Human Rights in the upcoming period, which he said would also be “attempts to [put Hungary] under pressure”.
He said the European institutions had found an ally in Hungary, namely the Hungarian Helsinki Committee, which he said had become a “political organisation”. He added that if the Helsinki Committee indeed considered its work a matter of principle, then it would offer the 2.7 million forints (EUR 8,700) awarded by the Strasbourg court to charities working beyond the borders.
Commenting on the stricter legal regulations introduced by Hungary to protect its border, he said the government is ready to undergo all EU reviews because he is convinced that the amended regulations meet all community laws. A joint working team by the cabinet and the EU will assess the regulations for three months, he added.
The stricter laws were already in place on Wednesday and eight asylum seekers are now waiting at the border while their applications are assessed, he said. Some 324 containers have been set up in the transit zone and this capacity can be expanded according to demand, he added. Adults get three daily meals and children five meals, as well as full social and health services, he said.
Lázár said there are currently 520 migrants already in Hungary staying in reception centres, receiving services in line with international standards. Since new migrants have not been allowed into Hungary since March 28, existing reception centres are expected to empty out because the people in question will either leave Hungary or will be transported to migrant zones. So these reception facilities can be quickly closed down, he said.
Commenting on last week’s EU summit in Rome and a statement approved there, Lázár said the Visegrad Four Group approved a concurrent statement that the bloc’s strength depends on the strength of its individual member states. Hungary and its V4 allies plan to actively participate in the debates about the EU’s future, he added.
Lázár also said that the government will start preparing next year’s budget in April and a parliamentary debate will be held in May.
In response to a question about the advertisement tax, he said a European Commission decision will be implemented which stipulates a standard 5.3 percent tax rate above 100 million forints from July 1 this year. Market players will be refunded 20 billion forints from their payments made so far. The future of the advertisement tax will be decided during the debate of the 2018 budget and tax bills, he added.