- 12 May 2017 7:00 AM
The Hungarian standpoint is that the quota system is wrongheaded and that it has proved a failure. “We will not accept any kind of quota.” Hungary does not want to spend taxpayer money on supporting migrants. Instead it wants to support Hungarian families and its youth, he added.
Hungary takes issue with the European Commission overriding the decision of the European Council, namely that acceptance of migrants can only be undertaken on a voluntary basis, he said, adding that if a member state does not want migrants, it should not be forced into accepting them.
Lázár said at the same time that the dispute was of the nature of “David versus Goliath” and Hungary could only rely on the backing on the Visegrad Group of countries and countries in central Europe.
Lázár called completion of the second fence along 155kms of Hungary’s southern border, costing 4.8 billion forints (EUR 15.5m), an important development.
“This has perfected border protection,” he said. The “legal seal” combined with the fence fully protects Hungary and guarantees that migrants cannot move around freely in Hungary. Moreover, nobody can enter the country illegally, he added.
At the same time, Lázár said Hungary could maintain systematic EU border controls because the result was waiting times of several hours.
The number of illegal border crossings amounted to 185 by May 9 this year and the number of asylum applications has been 1,578 so far.
Human smugglers and migrants now avoid Hungary, which means “we are Europe’s safest country”, he said. At the same time, the government believes it necessary to be prepared for a migration crisis.
There is a strong consensus in Hungarian society that Hungary should not accept or invite migrants but instead support Hungarian youth, Lázár said.
Republished with permission of Hungary Matters, MTI’s daily newsletter.
MTI photo: Koszticsák Szilárd