Orban: Hungary and Italy Have Proved Illegal Mass Migration Can Be Stopped

Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban addresses a joint press conference in the Carmelite monastery of the prime minister's office in Budapest on May 2, 2019. - Salvini is on a one-day official visit to Hungary. (Photo by ATTILA KISBENEDEK / AFP) (Photo credit should read ATTILA KISBENEDEK/AFP/Getty Images)
ATTILA KISBENEDEK/AFP/Getty
VICTORIA FRIEDMAN

The efforts of Hungary and Italy to protect Europe’s borders in the past three years has “proved that it’s not true that migration can’t be stopped,” Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán has said.

Following the visit from the deputy prime minister of Italy, Matteo Salvini, at the end of last week, Prime Minister Orbán told listeners of Kossuth Radio that by “stopping migration at sea, Matteo Salvini drove a nail into the coffin of the pro-migration politicians,” he said, “to which we [Hungary] also contributed by stopping migration on land.”

According to figures from the United Nations’s International Organization for Migration, Mediterranean migrant sea landings had fallen from 118,914 for the whole of 2017 to 23,126 for 2018 — a massive 80 per cent drop in illegal mass migration.

Italy had become the hotspot for illegal migrant arrivals since the European Union struck a deal with Turkey to stop the Middle East migrant flow to the continent, with Greece seeing 853,650 migrants during the whole of 2015, the year the migrant crisis began.

After the deal, Italy saw their height of illegal landings during the migrant crisis totalling 181,436 in 2016, up from 153,842 in 2015, while the country was under the premiership of Prime Minister Matteo Renzi, who failed to stop the illegal flows of people.

Ahead of the 2018 Italian general election, populist-right League party leader Matteo Salvini pledged to stop illegal migration and the NGO ships — which have been accused of being a taxi service, ferrying migrants off the coast of North Africa to Italy, Malta, and Spain — and less than a year in the role as interior minister, his policies have successfully resulted in a drop in the illegal arrivals.

Likewise, Hungary, once a transit nation along the 2015 Balkan route for migrants travelling onwards to richer, northern Europe, saw illegal mass migration fall by more than 99 per cent in two years after Prime Minister Orbán sealed off the border with Serbia. The fencing and extra border patrols took migrant arrivals down from 391,000 in 2015, to 18,236 in 2016, to just 1,184 in 2017, according to the Hungarian government’s statistics.

Mr Salvini visited Mr Orbán’s ‘migrant wall’ on Thursday during his trip to Hungary, with the Italian newswire service ANSA reporting the League party leader as saying, “You can only enter Italy, Hungary and Europe if you have permission.”

The European Union, however, has maintained that mass migration cannot be stopped and must be accepted as the “new norm,” with European Commissioner for Migration Dimitris Avramopoulos writing in December 2017, “It’s time to face the truth. We cannot and will never be able to stop migration.”

Despite Italy and Hungary proving that turning back the NGO vessels that enable illegal mass migration and building strong walls and fences work, the EU and Germany maintain that the bloc needs a common asylum policy to respond to waves of migrants from the third world which must be allowed in and shared out amongst all members.

Breitbart London reported this week that the European Commission’s Director-General for Migration and Home Affairs has reiterated the alleged need for a centralised, Brussels-controlled refugee policy and called on Italy to allow ‘temporary’ landings for migrants from Libya as the North African country is currently experiencing political instability.

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