Hungary's government spokesperson has said that "Europe is facing a migrant crisis, not a refugee crisis."
Zoltán Kovács made the comments during an interview on German television channel ZDF, where he answered questions on Hungary's migration policy.
When asked why Hungary is still not willing to accept refugees when receiving funding from the EU, Kovács stressed that the two issues cannot be linked and that Europe is not suffering from a refugee crisis.
“Last year alone, 1.2 million people arrived in Europe, and most of them did not come from Syria. The Hungarian authorities have registered immigrants from 104 countries. This also indicates the fact that we are talking about ‘mass migration at an intercontinental level’, and should proceed accordingly.
"It is Hungary's obligation under the regulations controlling the Schengen Area to prevent all those who are not authorized to do so from entering the Schengen Area, and accordingly has taken the required steps to stop illegal migration along its border with Serbia," he said.
Kovács added that "this has absolutely nothing to do with monies received from the European Union’s structural funds."
The spokesman also said that Hungary was not in breach of European and international laws on refugees, no fundamental human right exists that states everyone is free to choose in which country they want to live.
“The majority of people arriving in Europe do not receive asylum at all, and this gives rise to the question of whether it is a humane procedure to let hundreds of thousands of people into Europe and then send them back because they are not entitled to protection, and whether it would perhaps be better to stop them at the EU border and ascertain who is eligible for asylum status and who isn’t," Kovács said.