17. Only European leader with courage28.07.2016 12:54
Shock as Hungary PM says migrants are 'poison' and EVERY refugee a 'safety & terror risk'
HUNGARY’S hardline leader has sparked controversy after describing migrants as a “poison” and a “terror risk” and saying they are not welcome in his country.
18:20, Wed, Jul 27, 2016
Prime minister Viktor Orban said the central European state “does not need a single migrant” to help its economy grow, branding all refugees “a public security risk”.
But his comments were immediately denounced by human rights campaigners, who described them as “disgusting, poisonous and xenophobic”.
Hardline Mr Orban has overseen a huge crackdown on migration in Hungary, including the construction of a vast border fence to prevent people from travelling northwards from Greece.
He has frequently clashed with EU leaders over his no-nonsense approach and is currently taking Brussels to court over its attempt to impose vast fines on the Hungarian government over its refusal to accept migrant quotas.
The outspoken premier has positioned himself as a defender of “Christian Europe” throughout the migrant crisis, warning that the vast numbers of asylum seekers arriving from the Middle East are threatening European culture.
But his remarks today, made during a joint press conference with his Austrian counterpart, represent his most divisive rhetoric yet on the issue of mass migration.
Hungary has built a huge border fence to keep out migrants
The two countries have consistently been the most anti-immigrant of all the EU nations, and Austria is embroiled in its own battle with Brussels over a controversial daily cap it has placed on the number of asylum applications it will process.
In a fiery speech Mr Orban made it clear that migrants were not welcome in his country, warning other European nations not to “force” mass immigration on his people.
He said: “Hungary does not need a single migrant for the economy to work, or the population to sustain itself, or for the country to have a future.
“Every single migrant poses a public security and terror risk.
“This is why there is no need for a common European migration policy. Whoever needs migrants can take them, but don’t force them on us, we don’t need them.”
He added: “Migration is not a solution but a problem…not medicine but a poison. We don’t need it and won’t swallow it.”
Mr Orban’s controversial remarks were immediately attacked by human rights campaigners, who said they were divisive and demonised people fleeing war and persecution.
Lotte Leicht, the EU director of Human Rights Watch, called the comments “disgusting, poisonous and xenophobic” whilst her colleague, Ben Ward, pointed out that 200,000 Hungarian refugees fled to Europe in 1956 to escape Soviet troops.
The controversial Hungarian leader was already on the warpath with Brussels over migration after calling a referendum on whether or not to accept its mandatory quota system for refugees.
He has urged voters to reject the proposal, which was agreed under the EU’s qualified majority vote (QMV) system, arguing that “only Hungarians, not Brussels, can decide who we want to live with in Hungary”.
Hungary has filed a lawsuit with the European Court of Justice in an attempt to get the decision overturned. Under the scheme some 2,300 refugees would be compulsorily resettled in Hungary.
The country and three other central European states that constitute the Visegrad Four group, which includes Czech Republic, Slovakia and Poland, have been opposing the mandatory quotas the EU wants to impose on each member state.