Hungary has “secretly” accepted more than 2200 refugees since 2015

  • Tomáš Hošek
  • 19.1.2018 13:39

On Wednesday 17 January, Hungarian deputy state secretary Kristóf Altusz mentioned in an interview for the Times of Malta newspaper that Viktor Orbán’s government accepted 1,294 refugees in 2017 without making the decision public. In the same manner, Hungary admitted 940 individuals in 2015-2016, with the government keeping these measures secret because they could put the beneficiaries in danger.

Opposition parties like Jobbik or the Socialists answered to the new information with displeasure, pointing to the declared tough stance of Orbán’s government to the issues of migration. Jobbik’s leader Gábor Vona also mentioned the €71 million spent on the nationwide referendum campaign for the rejection of the relocation quota mechanism, under which Hungary was expected to accept 1,294 asylum seekers from Greece and Italy. However, Hungarian foreign minister Péter Szijjartó refused that the government breached its strictly disapproving stance on quotas, explaining the refugees were taken in under the generally valid Geneva Convention instead of the mandatory relocation scheme. The approach clearly shows that the substance of the dispute over the quotas with the EU is not migration but politics and populism of the ruling Fidesz party. The government campaign continues with the currently debated so-called Stop Soros legislative package that imposes new obligations on foreign-funded organisations active in helping migrants.

About author: Tomáš Hošek

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