Feb 28, 2018 - Zoltán Kovács

Guess who’s talking about “no-go zones”

Remember that time back in the autumn of 2016 when the government of Hungary had the audacity to talk about “no-go zones”?

In voicing our opposition to the EU’s compulsory migrant resettlement quotas and policies that would continue to encourage further immigration to Europe, we pointed to the “no-go zones” found in certain urban areas of western Europe. Inhabited by significant numbers of immigrants, these areas suffer from notoriously high crime rates and are called “no-go” because local police and authorities are no longer able to maintain public order and security.

Outrageous! Critics dismissed it as fiction and denounced us as intolerant or worse. How dare that Prime Minister Viktor Orbán draw a link between immigration and a decline in public security. In breathtaking hypocrisy, the BBC told Foreign Affairs and Trade Minister Péter Szijjártó that the claim was “ridiculous…just ridiculous,” though the BBC itself had produced a documentary entitled No Go Britain (see my post here).

Today, it seems this taboo has been broken. Guess who is talking about “no-go zones”?

Chancellor Angela Merkel. In an interview on Monday evening with the daily news program RTL Aktuell, the German chancellor referred specifically to “no-go zones”.

“There are such spaces, and you have to call that by name and you have to do something about it,” she said.

Calling upon the authorities to take action against no-go zones, the chancellor argued that “[ensuring] domestic security is the state's obligation. The state has the monopoly on the use of force. The state has to make sure that people have the right to it whenever they meet and move in a public space.”

And she also said this: “Freedom can only prevail if security is guaranteed.” And this issue “has a very, very high urgency today.” 

Prime Minister Orbán has been saying virtually the same thing for years now when urging Europe to make border security the first priority. If we cannot defend our borders and maintain our security, he has said, then our hard-won liberties – like the freedom of movement in the EU – will be in jeopardy.

In addition to calling them by name, Chancellor Merkel pledged to adopt a policy of “zero tolerance” for no-go zones to get to a place where “there are no public spaces where no one dares to go.”

That we’re finally calling them by name signals a step in the right direction.