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Mar 01, 2016

Had Europe Accepted the Hungarian Solution, This is Not Where We Would Be Now

“Had Europe accepted the Hungarian solution to the immigration crisis a year ago, this is not where we would be now”, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade Péter Szijjártó told Hungarian news agency MTI on Friday.

The Minister was reacting to statements on immigration by SPD President and German Vice-Chancellor Sigmar Gabriel on ARD television’s political debate programme according to which: “Prime Minister Viktor Orbán declared that he would not apply EU rights to asylum and does not want a single refugee in his country. And that was when we saw the bad images in front of the Hungarian border. And then we said we would rather let the people come to Germany than leave them to suffer.” “Things began with an Eastern European Prime Minister contravening EU law, not by the German Chancellor contravening EU law”, he said, adding that “if we did make a mistake it was that we overestimated the willingness to undertake common responsibility in Europe. Had we distributed 1 million people among 500 million people, nothing would have happened to anybody. Things didn’t begin with us sending an invitation; things began with Orbán saying: I’m not letting anyone in”.

With relation to Mr. Gabriel’s statements, the Hungarian Foreign Minister said. “Unfortunately, certain European leaders continue to try to portray falsehoods as realities and lies as the truth”. Contrary to what the German Vice Chancellor is stating, Hungary is the only EU member state to adhere to international regulations and protect the external borders of the Schengen Area, he stressed.

Hungary has always welcomed those who are genuine refugees, but meanwhile also put the question: “Can people who leave Turkey, Greece, Macedonia, Serbia, Croatia, Slovenia or Austria so they can get to Germany truly be regarded as refugees?”

In Hungary’s opinion, such people cannot be regarded as refugees according to any existing agreement or treaty; they are illegal immigrants and “Hungary does not welcome illegal economic immigrants”, Mr. Szijjártó said.

According to the Hungarian Foreign Minister, more and more countries are now recognising the fact that if Europe had accepted the Hungarian solution a year ago, this is not where we would be now.