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Nov 21, 2018

Hungary's FM raises important questions with UN and EC over migrant debit cards

The foreign minister's questions were aimed at revealing how many such programs have been launched, how many cards have been distributed and how much funds have been used for the schemes

Hungary’s foreign minister has raised important questions with the European Commission and the United Nations over “unidentified debit cards issued to a number of migrants”.

On the sidelines of a meeting of EU foreign ministers in Brussels, Péter Szijjártó said the questions addressed to UN High Commissioner for Refugees Filippo Grandi and EU Commissioner for Migration Dimitris Avramopoulos, were aimed at revealing how many such programs have been launched, how many cards have been distributed and how much funds have been used for the schemes.

The minister also said he wanted to know if the scheme was implemented directly or via civil groups.

Minister Szijjártó said that issuing anonymous bank cards was an “awfully dangerous move” and it could compromise the fight against terrorism and human smuggling, “but it perfectly fits the approach represented by the UN global migration pact”.

During a press conference following the meeting, the minister was asked about recent remarks by German Chancellor Angela Merkel suggesting that the Hungarian government had asked Austria and Germany back in 2015 to accommodate some of the migrants flooding Hungary at the time. Minister Szijjártó declined to comment and said that “German politics is in turbulence and amid the manoeuvres and games all kinds of remarks are made”.