Parliament is expected to vote in February on a new package of laws aimed at fighting illegal migration and boosting Hungary’s security, government office chief Janos Lazar said on Thursday.
The government believes it important that organisations that support and organise illegal migration, and receive foreign funding, should operate transparently, Lazar told a regular press briefing. The bill obliges such organisations to register their activities and pay a 25 percent tax on donations received from abroad to be spent on border protection costs. Additionally, organisations could be subject to a restraining order with possible identical consequences to a ban, Lazar said. “If I had to mention an example, I would say that employees of the [Hungarian] Helsinki Committee could fall in that category”, he added.
Since the planned law will apply only after it enters force, this will give an opportunity to US financier George Soros to stop “financing illegal migration” to central Europe, Lazar added. If in the future Soros refrains from such activities the law will not apply to him or to “his organisations”, he said. The draft package also aims to prevent civil groups from using European funds “to organise migration”, Lazar said.
The government has made public the “Stop Soros” legislative package and will be submitting it for public consultation on Thursday.
Opposition party DK called the package a “bluff” in a statement.
Lazar said Hungary last year gave asylum to nearly 1,300 people because “we help those who are in trouble”. He added, however, that those granted asylum are “not to be taken for economic migrants” whom Hungary “seeks to stop”. Since Jan. 1, some 50 people have been granted asylum and the number could grow between 500-1,000 by the end of 2018, Lazar said. When asked about the remarks of undersecretary Kristof Altusz, who spoke about secretly admitting 1300 migrants to Times of Malta, Lazar said “the weather must have been good in Malta”, and that Altusz must have only “visioned” those migrants.
Zsolt Molnar, the Socialist head of parliament’s national security committee, convened the body for January 25, next Thursday to discuss migration issues. Apart from representatives of the secret services and other bodies involved, Prime Minister Viktor Orban has also been invited, Zsolt Molnar told MTI. The prime minister is expected to answer questions on the “Soros plan” and the 1,300 refugees the government “has secretly allowed” to enter Hungary, he added.
If George Soros cannot prove his Hungarian citizenship, theoretically he could be prevented from entering the country, Fidesz group leader Gergely Gulyas told a press conference on Thursday. When asked about the 1300 refugees, Gergely Gulyas said only refugees who have been granted asylum in accordance with the Geneva Convention had been accepted.
Source: MTI/Hungary Journal