The prime minister of Hungary accused Berlin of encouraging “millions” of refugees to travel to Europe by allowing them to enter Germany without limits, Sky News reports.
Viktor Orban, Hungary’s conservative PM, reportedly urged Germany to say it will not accept more refugees descending on Europe.
He warned that “millions” of people will travel to Europe if Berlin continues to accept more refugees and condemned Austria for permitting migrants to “enter its territory without hindrance.”
Hungary is preparing legislation that will allow it to deploy its military to the border it shares with Serbia.
The conservative leader also claimed that many migrants who have journeyed through Turkey, Greece, Macedonia, and Serbia to reach the European Union “were not refugees in danger – but immigrants attracted by the prospect of a German lifestyle,” notes Sky News.
Mr. Orban, in an interview with Austrian television, reportedly claimed that the migrant crisis could ultimately place an undue fiscal burden on the EU, placing the continent’s “Christian welfare states,” at risk.
On Monday, Csaba Hende, Hungary’s defense minister, stepped down over the issue.
“The country’s police were accused of using pepper spray on refugees… as scuffles broke out on the southern border with Serbia,” reports Sky News.
Hungary is planning to “seal off” its border with Serbia in an effort to stop all migrants and refugees from crossing into the EU member state.
Sky News notes, “There are fears the 3.5m-high fence it is building could cause dangerous bottlenecks in Serbia, as thousands of people continue their desperate journeys along the Balkan corridor in search of a better life.”
In defending the project, deemed controversial by critics, Orban has argued his country is “protecting Europe according to European rules that say borders can be crossed only in certain areas in a controlled way and after registration”.
Hungary is the “black sheep” of the EU, he acknowledged.
Mr. Orban “openly criticized the EU leadership’s plans to introduce quotas and distribute migrants more evenly across the bloc’s 28 member states,” reports Sky News.
Days before Orban voiced his criticism of Berlin, Germany, Europe’s wealthiest nation, announced it was imposing “no limit” on the number of refugees it would take in.
Officials estimate that up to 800,000 migrants will have reached Germany by the end of 2015, notes Sky News.