Hungary’s prime minister said the European Union should round up and deport all illegal immigrants and assemble them in EU-supervised refugee camps beyond the bloc’s borders where they can then file for asylum.
“This could be an island, it could be a coastal area in North Africa, but the security and supplies of that area must be guaranteed by the EU in its own interest,” Viktor Orbán told the news website Origo in an interview published today (22 September).
The firebrand premier has provoked controversy with tough rhetoric about migrants and a razor wire fence along Hungary’s southern border, as well as a referendum against mandatory resettlement quotas on 2 October.
“Those who came illegally must be rounded up and shipped out,” Orbán said.
Nordic nations on Wednesday (21 September) called for the EU to take “measures” against Hungary over its reluctance to take in registered asylum-seekers.
“We must set up large refugee camps outside the EU, with armed security and financial support provided by the Union. Everyone who came illegally must return there. There they can file for asylum.”
He said this was a “grave moral task” that was the only alternative to the migrants staying in Europe and being relocated around the continent, creating further problems. Resettlements were an exercise in futility as those who wanted to be in Germany would promptly return there after resettlement.
“There is only one solution that befits everyone, including us who are not yet in trouble because we defended ourselves and countries like Germany which are in trouble: Taking (migrants) out of the Union.”
Orbán reiterated that the external borders of the EU must be strengthened to prevent a repeat of the 2015 flow of migrants.
“Borders must be used, because they protect us,” he said. “Some imagine a globe without borders… I am one of those who would not like to see the civilisation of the world change.”
Hungary says migrants make London a “no-go” area
Also on Thursday, Britain raised concerns with Hungary over a description of areas of London, Paris and Brussels as “no-go” areas dominated by illegal immigrants who increase the risk of militant attacks.
As part of its referendum campaign, the Hungarian government released an official leaflet setting out the government’s case for voting “No”, including its views on the impact of migration on major Western cities.
In one section, under the title “Forced resettlement poses a threat to our culture and traditions”, the leaflet includes a map of Europe detailing — in red — what it said were no-go areas where the authorities could not keep control. Cities identified as such included London, Paris, Brussels and Berlin.
Luxembourg’s foreign minister, Jean Asselborn, has called for Hungary to be thrown out of the European Union. EurActiv Germany reports.
Other pages of the leaflet include a section on how “Illegal immigration increases the terror threat”.
“Immigrants mostly come from areas where European countries are carrying out military actions. This greatly increases the security risk,” the Hungarian leaflet said. “Terrorists deliberately and in a well-organised fashion take advantage of the lack of control to melt into the crowds of immigrants.”
The British embassy in Budapest raised concerns about the leaflet with the Hungarian government.
“This leaflet is clearly inaccurate,” a spokesman for Britain’s Foreign Office said. “There are no areas in the UK in which the laws of the UK cannot be enforced.”