Posted on December 21, 2016

PM Orbán on EU’s Migrant Crisis: “All Who Had Come in Must Be Sent Back”

Hungary Today, December 19, 2016

Everything in relation to the migration crisis depends on whether the borders are closed down or not, Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán said on Friday after a meeting of EU heads of state and governments in Brussels.

Prior to the summit, leaders of the Visegrad grouping of the Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland and Slovakia met and adopted a joint position on the three key issues, he said, namely that the borders must be protected, that “all who had come in must be sent back” and that all who want to come must be held outside the EU and separated into different groups.

Viktor Orbán said Hungary has closed its borders but Greece is incapable of doing so and Italy is either incapable or it does not want to keep its borders closed. “The situation in Italy is dramatic,” he said. Hungary would be able to stop a new migrant crisis if there was one, Orbán insisted. Orbán said the responsibility lied with Brussels for enabling rejected asylum seekers to freely leave Hungary for western Europe. Brussels could help by changing the “unrealistic” rule under which rejected asylum seekers who ask for legal remedy cannot be kept in custody. The meeting of prime ministers has rejected a proposal on changing that rule, Orbán said.

Ukraine should get visa-free status in the European Union immediately, Prime Minister Viktor Orbán said. “What does the European Union really do for Ukraine if it does not give it a visa waiver immediately?”, he asked at a press conference held after a meeting of EU heads of state and government in Brussels. The prime minister said it is hard to conceive how the EU wants to use military force away from Europe without a joint army and when it cannot even influence military developments in Ukraine. “What is more, it is incapable of even giving Ukraine a visa waiver now, although this is not even a military issue, it has no legal obstacles, and nobody dares argue against it openly,” he said. Orbán said the Visegrad countries “strongly” supported Ukraine concerning the visa issue “independent of their possibly different positions on the (EU’s) Russia policy”.

The example of Syria shows that there is still a lot to do in the area of European security, Orbán said. If Europe does not have sufficient military power it will not be able to win in military terms and instead of “resolving issues” in Syria and offering genuine help to those who live there is only wellintentioned talk. But that does not resolve the situation which is already taken care of by others, who are already using military force in Syria, he said.

On another subject, Orbán said that the EU’s energy union was a “pseudonym” to cover Brussels’ efforts to ban Hungary’s energy price cuts. He said Hungary was ready to contribute to the development of such union, but insisted that details of price regulations must be established. “Apart from Hungary there are other countries that find it inconceivable that Brussels should ban utility price cuts, or the possibility of centrally regulating energy prices, which affect hundreds of thousands of Hungarian families,” Orbán said.