Spokesperson: Hungary did not sign on to quota deal

EU

kormany.hu

Despite what Hungarian opposition parties say, Hungary’s Prime Minister Viktor Orbán did not sign a measure supporting the quota system on Friday at a European Union summit, government spokesperson Zoltán Kovács told Hungarian news agency MTI yesterday.

Zoltán Kovács. (Photo: kormany.hu)

Kovács said that the mandatory quota system will only be addressed at the next EU summit, and what the government had actually signed at Friday’s meeting was an earlier agreement, one that pertained to the quota scheme proposed last summer on distributing 40,000 migrants from Italy and Greece among other member states, strictly on a voluntary basis, MTI reported.

According to the official website of the European Council “EU leaders adopted conclusions on the migration and refugee crisis. The debate focused on the latest developments since leaders last met in December but also on the necessity to build a European consensus on migration.”

The press release issued by the EC says that “in response to the migration crisis facing the EU, the objective must be to rapidly stem the flows, protect our external borders, reduce illegal migration and safeguard the integrity of the Schengen area ... All the elements agreed last December should be implemented rapidly, including the decisions on relocation and measures to ensure returns and readmissions”.

European Parliament President Martin Schulz told German television ZDF yesterday that Hungary is not involved in the EU’s refugee quota system, while other countries in the region might be willing to volunteer in accommodating refugees, sputniknews.com reported early this morning.

“Orbán has clearly decided to go his own way,” Schulz told the television station, according to sputniknews.com.

Hungarian opposition parties charged Orbán, who has vocally opposed the quota system, with changing his stance on the distribution of refugees inside the European Union.

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