Every EU project ‘on verge of collapsing’
RT: Hungary's border with Serbia is now being controlled - there are hundreds of refugees stranded there, camped out on the highway. Where do you expect them to go?
Marton Gyongyosi: It’s a very difficult question. We have thousands of refugees arriving to Hungary per day, and waiting for registration and waiting to pass through Hungary. We have a new law since September 15 which is basically saying that stepping illegally on the territory of Hungary or damaging the fence which has been newly drawn up on the Hungarian-Serbian border is a criminal offence and many people have been basically imprisoned and taken by the Hungarian police in accordance with the Hungarian laws. This is a message to the migrants and the refugees that Hungary is not the direction to come. This is why we have closed down physically our borders. This is a message for the migrants that they should take a different route to their destination.
RT: Hungary is against compulsory refugee quotas - but the European Commission says it's a matter of unity and sharing responsibility. Why are you against it?
MG: I think that what the EU is trying to do with this quota, which is absolutely no solution whatsoever, is to spread responsibility for what the West has done and caused in the Middle East and in North Africa. It is about high time that we start talking about the root of the problem, a mistaken foreign policy that the West and especially the US has undertaken, and, of course, Western countries have assisted in this in Europe when they destroyed countries like Libya, Syria, Iraq, Afghanistan. They destabilized the neighborhood of the EU. And, of course, now we see a number of migrants coming in this direction and causing an enormous upheaval.
Jan Oberg, director of Transnational Foundation for Peace and Future Research, comments on those countries that oppose a quota system to deal with the EU refugee crisis: “We should be aware that the Visegrad countries, which are now the ones who do not think they can go along and share the burden in solidarity, are countries that are among the richest in the world. The four Visegrad countries have the fifth largest economy in the EU and the twelfth largest economy in the world combined. They are not poor countries, they are NATO members. They have never had problems to find money when it was to participate in military exercises in Afghanistan. But, suddenly, when there are refugees coming in that’s a huge problem…”
Of course, we can see that this is a humanitarian crisis. But we also have to speak about the security problems, about the health issues, about the economic and social tensions that this enormous migration is going to cause on this continent. Talking about the quotas, until we… know the exact number, the upper ceiling of migrants that Europe is expecting, it is absolutely nonsensical.
I mean, we can only talk about percentages and proportions. Once we know the amount, but we don’t know the amount that the EU is willing to accept on the continent. So the quota is an absolute nonsense at this stage. And, of course, thank God, there are some central Eastern European countries which are opposing this idea. It is another one of these completely nonsensical European proposals that we have seen in recent days and recent weeks.
RT: Hungary has taken a tough stance on refugees, unlike Germany for example, which has built distribution centers and welcomes asylum seekers... How do you respond to criticism from fellow EU members?
MG: The European Union is a basket case. And every single one of its projects is on the verge of collapsing - the eurozone and the Schengen agreement included. Hungary has been criticized for drawing up the fence and for protecting the borders of Hungary which happen to be the borders of the Schengen zone. It is a responsibility and liability that we have undertaken when we signed the Schengen agreement. So, the fact that Hungary is closing down its borders is an obligation under the Schengen treaty. What Austria and Germany are doing, but also Denmark has resulted in the same steps when they closed down the borders with Germany, is something completely against the Schengen agreement.
So, while Hungary is the only country which is respecting the Schengen agreement, these countries which are continuously criticizing Hungary are doing nothing else but breaking the Schengen agreement. It is very unfortunate to say but the Schengen agreement is dead, it has collapsed. And it is, of course, absolutely no solution to anything. Germany and Austria should stop this double speech. They are one day welcoming the refugees, and they are saying that they are going to accept any number of refugees that arrive to their countries, the other day they are closing down their borders. This is shameful, this is irresponsible and this is completely crazy. Europe should come to its senses.
RT: The EU has been struggling to find a coordinated response to the refugee crisis for months - what are the chances it will eventually come up with a united policy?
MG: If you look at the European bureaucracy and what type of politician what type of politician it consists of, you cannot reasonably expect any reasonable outcome, or any type of solution to this problem. I mean, the EU is struggling with a number of crises at the moment, including institutional, political, economic, social crisis, and now this migration problem. The EU has never achieved to solve any of the problems it is dealing with. Unfortunately, what I can see is that we can expect absolutely no solution from the centers of the EU, from Brussels, from these bureaucrats in Brussels. The nation states should take this issue into their own hands and try to solve the problem themselves.
The statements, views and opinions expressed in this column are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of RT.