Viktor Orbán has taken a swing at the EU for creating incentives for migrants to attempt dangerous crossings of the Mediterranean to illegally enter Europe. Brussels is deceiving people, putting them in the “hands of the gangs of smugglers”, the Hungarian Prime Minister complained to German mag, Focus.
Asked why he is not on board with the EU policy inspired by Angela Merkel of accepting hundreds of thousands of migrants and redistributing them across the bloc, Orbán replied it was “wrong-headed”, adding: “We must take help to where the problems are, not bring those problems to Europe. The EU is creating illusions in the minds of people living in poorer countries.
“They believe that they would be awaited here with open arms, they want a European life, but in the end, they end up in the hands of the gangs of smugglers. The wrong European pull factor policy has turned the Mediterranean Sea into a graveyard.”
He went onto reinforce his already strong family-friendly credentials, saying the solution to “challenges of demography” is “through strong family policy measures, and not by calling in immigrants.”
The Hungarian government has introduced massive tax breaks for Hungarian mothers bearing more than four children in an effort to boost low birth rates, a common problem across Europe and the West. Most countries look to immigration as a quick fix, not Orbán, who stingingly added, “The Germans want to impose their own welcome policy on us. I have to say ‘no’ to that.”
And at a time when Britain is forecast to deal with more than 10,000 asylum seekers crossing the Channel in flimsy dinghies, British fans of the permanent thorn in Brussels’ side will be heartened to see he is as defiant as ever.
Questioned on whether he believed in international rules governing asylum seekers, he said: “Yes, the Geneva Refugee Convention exists, you have to respect it and keep it. But Brussels goes beyond them, and that is a mistake.”
He went onto attack Eurocrats for their shabby treatment of Britain, which led to Brexit: “When the British Prime Minister asked that Juncker not be President of the European Commission, the British request was ignored. One of the largest economies in the world, a nuclear superpower, the member of the Security Council, cannot be dealt with like that. Was it worth it for the EU?”
Orbán has had a big week in the media spotlight. Yesterday, this site covered his scathing criticism of the EU’s vaccine roll-out in which he said: “Brussels is following its own logic. They don’t have a strong enough sense of the importance of speed, so they’re slow in issuing permits and have no power over suppliers.”