German Die Welt correspondent Boris Kalnoky and British BBC correspondent Nick Thorpe have been living in Budapest for decades, and they’re discussing the migration crisis and its effect on Hungarian politics in the latest issue of weekly Heti Valasz.
According to Thorpe, the fence built along Hungary’s southern border in 2015 accelerated migration, because many people thought that was their last chance before the border is closed. Kalnoky said that German Chancellor Angela Merkel wanted to close the border, but as it’s not a Schengen border, she had no opportunity to do so, and she didn’t want the bad media echo either. He called her slogan, “Wir schaffen das” a PR action, that she did instead of acting like a leader. Thorpe argued that Merkel was the only European leader to make something to protect Christian values like tolerance, but Kalnoky replied that Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban also acted, but in a different way.
Kalnoky reminded that Orban wasn’t against solving demographic problems with immigration, he even “wanted to build a mosque”, but the mass migration crisis changed the situation. Both of them agreed that the so-called “Soros plan” doesn’t exist in the way the government communicated it.