Budapest and Warsaw cannot agree to a deal that will force them to accept migrants, the Hungarian leader declared
The EU legally “raped” Hungary and Poland by forcing through a deal that will compel member states to accept quotas of illegal immigrants, Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban said on Friday. He added that Hungary will not compromise with Brussels on such an arrangement.
“There is no chance to have any kind of compromise and agreement on migration,” Orban told reporters ahead of a meeting on EU leaders in Spain. “Politically, it is impossible.”
“Because legally we are, how to say it, we are raped. So if you are raped legally, forced to accept something you don’t like, how would you like to have a compromise? It’s impossible!”
EU ambassadors agreed on a landmark migration pact on Wednesday. The deal will see illegal immigrants – most of whom land in Italy and Greece after crossing the Mediterranean – transported to other EU countries on a quota basis. While it allows for migrants to be held longer in processing centers at the EU’s external borders, it also allows asylum applications to be fast-tracked in times of “crisis.”
Hungary and Poland voted against the pact, while Austria, Slovakia, and the Czech Republic abstained.
Previous attempts by Brussels to impose migrant quotas have also been met with resistance in Budapest and Warsaw. The European Court of Justice ruled in 2020 that both broke EU law by refusing to take a single migrant out of 160,000 relocated during the 2015 migration crisis.
The new deal is likely to be enforced harder, with EU ministers voting in June to fine member states €20,000 ($21,170) for each migrant they refuse to take in under the relocation scheme. This provision made it into the deal signed on Wednesday.
“They want to relocate migrants to Hungary by force,” Orban said in June. “This is unacceptable, they want to forcefully turn Hungary into a migrant country.”
Poland “squarely rejects” the migration pact, Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki told reporters ahead of Friday’s meeting, stating that his government’s opposition to non-EU immigration is “first and foremost about the security of our country.”
European Commissioner Ylva Johansson announced last week that 250,000 people illegally entered the EU in 2023, around half of them arriving in Italy by sea. This is the highest number of illegal entries in a year since the peak of the 2015 crisis.
With individual states clashing over the influx – most recently when Italy condemned Germany for funding ‘rescue’ ships that transport migrants to its shores – EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell warned last month that the issue of immigration “could be a dissolving force for the European Union.”
October 07, 2023 at 12:31AM