The European Union’s unelected executive is trying to “pressure” Hungary into accepting compulsory migrant quotas and relaxing its tough new border control measures, according to the government.
“Hungary is ready for debates, but we are not going to yield an inch as far as the issue of immigration is concerned,” said a statement quoted by The Times.
European Commission Vice-President Frans Timmermans has levelled a number of charges at Hungary in recent weeks, principally concerning its resistance to compulsory migrant quotas, automatic detention of asylum seekers, and the planned removal of special privileges from the Central European University founded by billionaire open borders campaigner George Soros.
The migrant quotas, imposed despite the opposition of several Central European countries, were overwhelmingly rejected by the Hungarian people in a referendum in 2016. The detention of asylum seekers until their claims are processed is said to be a security measure; bogus asylum seekers left at large by the authorities having recently carried out mass-casualty terror attacks in Berlin and Stockholm.
Budapest denies it is trying to shut down the Soros university, with new legislation only intended to ensure it operates on a level playing field with local universities.
Responding to Vice-President Timmermans, Foreign Minister Péter Szijjártó denounced what he described as “pathetic accusations”.
In a stunning rebuke to the bureaucrat, Szijjártó declared: “The First Vice-President of the European Commission has attacked Hungary in the past two years because, despite the Commission’s and his own personal position, we have been able to give a successful response to illegal immigration.”
Hungary introduced robust and highly effective border controls at breakneck speed after German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s declaration that there was “no limit” on the number of migrants she would accept, which saw millions stream into southern and south-eastern EU member-states.
Hungary’s measures slashed migrant numbers entering Hungary via the Serbian route from 200,000 in 2015 to just 25,000 in 2016 – actions for which the Hungarian government is privately thanked, according to Prime Minister Orbán.
“[I]f we weren’t protecting Europe’s external borders, the Austrians and the Germans would be in big trouble,” the Fidesz leader told Kossuth Rádió.
“[When] Hungary was unable to protect Europe’s external borders … millions of migrants marched through Hungary towards Austria and Germany. We put an end to this, and everyone in Austria and Germany is happy about that – although political double-dealing doesn’t allow them to say so, or write about it,” he revealed.