Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban on Friday rejected the European Union’s new migration plan, and reiterated his opposition to his country having a multicultural society.
“In Hungary, we are very strict that we would not like to have a parallel society, or open society or a mixed-up culture,” he told Reuters. “We don’t think a mixture of Muslim and Christian society could be a peaceful one and could provide security and good life for the people.”
Migration in Hungary is a “national security issue,” said Orban, who previously claimed that “multiculturalism has failed in Europe.”
No one can enter Hungary “without having a legally completed procedure and getting a clear permission to do so,” he said in Friday’s interview.
Orban’s comments came a day after discussing migration with European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen in Brussels. The bloc’s new migration plan would force Hungary to welcome asylum seekers, the PM said, but he welcomed that “some taboos have disappeared.” He cited, in particular, the strengthened focus on sending people who don’t qualify for asylum in the EU back to their countries of origin.
Orban still believes that asylum applications should be managed in “hotspots” beyond EU borders, and that those who do approach the border would otherwise be detained. Rights groups say that detaining asylum-seekers, or pushing them back over the border, runs against the right to claim asylum as enshrined under international humanitarian law. Since Hungary adopted its hardline policies following a 2015 rise in Mediterranean arrivals, it has already lost a number of legal cases on migration at the EU’s top court.
Although it is “too early to consider a Hungarian veto,” Orban made it clear that Budapest would not agree to anything that could lead to Hungary being obliged to take in people coming from the Middle East or Africa.
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