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Orbán: Hungary is following EU rules on asylum

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Hungary has done everything it can to comply with the rules of the European Union in the handling of the current refugee crisis in the country, Hungary’s Prime Minister Viktor Orbán said this morning at a press conference following negotiations in Brussels with the President of the European Parliament, Martin Schulz.

The Hungarian prime minister said that Hungary has followed the regulations of the Schengen Code, Dublin regulation and Frontex. He added that Hungary will soon vote on a new package of laws, which, together with the “physical barrier” on the Serbian border will ease the pressure on the country one step at a time. He also asked the European Parliament not to criticize the measures Hungary is applying as everything is done in line with European regulations.

When queried about what strategy the government has been following with the Police blockade of Budapest’s Keleti Railway Station that followed the allowing of refugees into the station, Orbán said it is not a question of strategy but there are clear regulations. He said that nobody can leave the country without first being registered. He noted that this is not a European problem, but Germany’s problem, as nobody wants to stay in Hungary, and everyone wants to go to Germany.

In response to another question, Orbán reiterated that the Schengen treaty is in danger, as well as the freedom of movement inside the Schengen area. The prime minister noted that the way in which the situation is currently being handled “is a shame” and in no way European. “We are working to control the situation,” the prime minister added.

When asked why Europe is showing no sympathy toward these people fleeing war, Orbán said that Hungary’s humane reaction is to not fuel the hopes of refugees by making them believe they are welcome in Hungary, thereby discouraging human traffickers from even attempting to bring them into the country. He said it is a question of responsibility. “If we tell them that they can come to our country, we are making a moral mistake,” Orbán said.

“We, Hungarians are full of fear as leaders that we cannot solve this issue,” Orbán said.

Schulz urged that a joint European solution is needed. He noted that behind closed doors, the negotiations of the two were tough. Schulz said he believes that the introduction of a quota system is a viable solution, which Orbán is still reluctant to accept.

Schulz said that the 28 EU member states with a population of 507 million people could handle a tens of thousands of refugees. Orbán maintained that the quota system would encourage more and more refugees to come to the EU.

Schulz agreed with Orbán that the Schengen treaty and the freedom of movement is in danger, if a solution for the current crisis is not found. He even said that if the European Union is not able to find a solution that every member accepts, there might be a breach in the Union.

He added that three issues need to be resolved when an asylum-seeker arrives to the Schengen zone. One is to find a common basis on which those who arrive in Hungary are dealt with and protected. The second is to give temporary protection to those who are arriving from war-torn countries until they can return to their homes once the wars have ended. And the third is to resolve the issues of the Dublin regulation, which makes it very difficult for political refugees to be accepted into the EU.

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