Gulyas: Infringement procedure attack against Hungary

The infringement procedure initiated by the European Commission against Hungary due to its “Stop Soros” laws is “unacceptable” and “constitutes an attack against Hungary”, the head of the Prime Minister’s Office said on Tuesday.

“The behaviour of Brussels continues to indicate that countries that protect Europe are subjected to a procedure while those that invite migrants are rewarded,”

he said.

It is clear that Brussels and the commission still pursued pro-migration policies, Gulyas said at a regular government press briefing. The commission’s opinion on this matter does not reflect the opinion of governments of European Union member states, he added.

Gulyas also slammed Brussels for launching a separate infringement procedure because of a Hungarian constitutional amendment. The aim of this amendment differs in no way from provisions in Germany’s constitution, namely that only those who arrive from an unsafe third country are eligible for asylum, he said. If a migrants had the option, they would most certainly choose Europe as their destination in order to take advantage of social benefits, he added.

Gulyas urged a “return” to the application of asylum rules set out in the Geneva Convention on granting asylum in the first safe country where an application is originally submitted.

He said closed transit zones were a good way of protecting against unjustified asylum applications being made in every European country. Such zones could prevent the unrestricted movement of a potential ineligible migrants after applying for asylum, which he said benefitted western European countries, particularly Germany.

On the topic of German-Hungarian relations and recent diplomatic events, Gulyas emphasised the Hungarian government’s foreign policy goal of seeking close cooperation with any German government, in spite of any differences of opinion on important issues such as migration.

Building good relations with the allied governing CSU and CDU parties is particularly important for the Hungarian government, he said. Gulyas said he saw the same intention on Germany’s part, adding that besides bilateral cooperation, Germany considered it strategically important to deepen ties with the Visegrad Group with the inclusion of Bavaria and Austria.

Commenting on the recent Israeli-Hungary summit, he said that relations between the two countries were better than at any point in the last thirty years, with Hungary and Israel sharing the same views on many issues and Israel also considering migration a new challenge. Gulyas said migration was a source of anti-Semitism in the modern age. The fight against migration is effective if an anti-migration stance is taken right from the beginning, he added. Jewish communities currently living in Hungary — “our Jewish compatriots” — are able to live in peace, he said, adding that this needs to be preserved. All obstacles to economic cooperation between the two countries must be removed, he said.

In response to a question, he said that despite a request raised to move the Hungarian embassy to Jerusalem, the prime minister made no such promise and the government has yet to decide on the issue. Meanwhile, the cabinet will allocate the necessary support required for setting up a museum devoted to the subject of Hungarians who emigrated to Israel, Gulyas said.

Commenting on reports that, contrary to earlier plans, the US State Department would not support rural media outlets around Hungary, he said Hungary acknowledged the US government’s sovereign decision. Hungary ensures media diversity and media outlets would try to meet expectations from abroad if there was undue foreign influence, Gulyas added.

Source and photo: MTI

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