Bence Rétvári: As street violence raged in some European capitals on New Year's Eve, Brussels pushed through its migration pact

In a "crisis," a "second quota" would be introduced, from which there would be no escape and which would make it compulsory to take in migrants.

Bence Rétvári, the parliamentary state secretary of the Ministry of Interior, said at a press conference in Budapest on Wednesday that while there was "violence" on the streets of some European capitals on New Year's Eve — a negative effect of illegal migration — in the last days of the year, Brussels pushed through its migration pact, which would make the application of a quota automatic.

Rétvári said that the "Brussels bureaucrats" feared that the forces opposing migration would make headway in the European Parliament elections, so "in a panic" they reintroduced the earlier pro-migration proposals, "accelerated the decision-making process" and — by breaking the procedural rules — adopted them.

The state secretary said that the automatic distribution of illegal migrants according to quotas is a "migrant magnet," adding that a country that does not want to accept migrants will have to pay HUF 8 million per migrant. However, in a "crisis," which was not clearly defined, he continued, a "second quota" would be introduced, from which there would be no escape (even by paying a fine), and it would be compulsory to take in migrants, he added.

Rétvári said that they want to create "migrant ghettos" and "Lampedusas" in Hungary, and we would have to admit tens of thousands of illegal migrants. He said: Hungary rejects the migration pact and each of its elements separately.

The state secretary noted that on New Year's Eve, there were riots in Sweden, the Netherlands, Germany, and Belgium, with migrants setting cars on fire and attacking police officers. However, in Hungary, there is peace and security, and such incidents do not take place, he stressed.

He also pointed out that illegal migrants often act aggressively at Hungary's borders, with 18 attacks on border guards last year, 125 attacks on their vehicles, and 44 cases of damage to border barriers.

At the same time, Rétvári pointed out that illegal migrants often act aggressively at Hungary's borders, with 18 attacks on border guards last year, 125 attacks on their vehicles, and 44 cases of damage to border barriers.

For this reason, he explained that at the end of the year, parliament had to adopt an amendment to the Police Act introducing the institution of the "alarm shot." Thus, if other means of coercion fail, there is a new possibility in line with the principle of gradualism to enable police officers to protect themselves and the law and order of the country, the state secretary said.

György Bakondi, the prime minister's chief advisor on homeland security, said that according to aggregate data from Frontex, 355,300 people entered Europe illegally last year, the highest number since 2016 and a 17 percent increase compared to the previous year.

Meanwhile, 80 percent of expulsions have been unsuccessful, there have been more serious terrorist attacks in Western Europe, public security is deteriorating, and anti-Semitism is on the rise, he said.

Bakondi said that the migration pact is unacceptable to the Hungarian government and that the Hungarian position remains that refugees must submit their application at the EU's borders and await a decision there.

The chief advisor also said that the three main migration routes to Europe — the Spanish, the Italian, and the Balkan — are showing significant activity with movement on the rise. Mass immigration has not been stopped, and NGOs that transport migrants by sea remain active off the coast of Italy, he added.

He pointed out that last year, countries with internal Schengen borders reintroduced border controls in a series of cases, causing damage to Europe’s economy.

The blatant negative features of the "illegal migrant population" entering Europe in large numbers are becoming more and more significant, with several serious terrorist attacks and deteriorating public safety; the situation in Gaza has also led to street demonstrations and "serious anti-Semitic outbursts" in several EU member states, said Bakondi.

He said these events would continue and that Palestinian groups could emerge on the Balkan route as a consequence of the war. We could also witness migrants being "pushed in the Russian direction," he noted while also warning that events in the Sahel region, with changes in legislation following military coups, could also impact illegal migration.

Bakondi also said that Serbia had taken "strong national security measures" against armed groups on its territory last autumn, which had temporarily reduced the Hungarian border and led to migrants trying to detour to Croatia and Romania. This "diversionary effect" can be seen at the Hungarian-Romanian border, where the number of people apprehended at the Schengen border has almost doubled, as well as the number of people apprehended in vehicles, he said.

On the Balkan route, he said that there are 3,255,000 registered refugees in Turkey. Meanwhile, the fence on the Turkish-Iranian border is completed, 900 kilometers of the Turkish-Syrian border is fenced, and the Turkish armed forces have arrested 6,000 people smugglers. Greece received almost 50,000 migrants last year, with large group crossing attempts and overcrowded reception centers. In Hungary, the number of border-crossers apprehended last year was 173,298, and more than 1,000 people smugglers were also apprehended. Bakondi added that the majority of migrants are Syrian, Afghan, Turkish, Indian, and Pakistani, while the smugglers are Romanian, Ukrainian, Serbian, and Moldovan.

PM Orbán’s chief advisor on homeland security concluded that the Hungarian police will do their utmost to preserve the country's internal security.