Budapest (MTI) – It is Hungarians rather than their government for which the October 2 referendum on the European Union’s migrant quota will have a stake, Foreign Minister Péter Szijjártó said on Saturday.
Hungarians will be the first nation in Europe to have a chance to express their opinion on migration, he said prior to the annual Civic Picnic in Kötcse, in southwestern Hungary.
“If Hungarians make it clear that they reject forced resettlement, there won’t be any European leader to ignore their position,” he said, adding that the referendum may also confirm the government’s policy.
Szijjártó said that many Europeans failed to recognise the extent of the danger the continent is exposed to.
“We have actually put Europe’s security in the hands of the Turkish government while the Western Balkans’ European integration has made but little progress,” he said.
While the European leaders are criticising the Turkish government, it depends on Turkey whether it lets millions of migrants leave for Europe and depends on the Western Balkans nation whether the wave is halted before Hungary’s southern border, the minister said.
Asked about relations with Austria, Szijjártó said the government maintains smooth ties with the People’s Party but has political conflicts with the Social Democrats.
“We have made it clear for the Austrians that Hungary had acted in line with the European rules and that illegal migrants should be returned to the first country where they had entered the European Union. And it is certain that Hungary was not that first point of entry,” he said.