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Hungarian prime minister calls migrants entering Europe a 'poison'

'Whoever needs migrants can take them, but don't force them on us, we don't need them'

Sadie Levy Gale
Wednesday 27 July 2016 13:57 BST
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The Hungarian Prime Minister said he wanted to save the Schengen agreement by securing external borders
The Hungarian Prime Minister said he wanted to save the Schengen agreement by securing external borders (Getty Images)

The Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban has described the influx of refugees and other migrants into Europe as a “poison" that his country "won't swallow".

So far this year, about 18,000 migrants have entered Hungary, according to the AFP news agency.

A House of Lords report published on Tuesday concluded Britain was failing to take in its fair share of unaccompanied child refugees.

Mr Orban, at a joint press conference in Budapest with Austrian Chancellor Christian Kern, said: "Hungary does not need a single migrant for the economy to work, or the population to sustain itself, or for the country to have a future.

"This is why there is no need for a common European migration policy – whoever needs migrants can take them, but don't force them on us, we don't need them.

"For us migration is not a solution but a problem... not medicine but a poison, we don't need it and won't swallow it."

Mr Orban strongly opposes the EU’s plan to use a mandatory quota system to distribute migrants across the 28-nation bloc.

Hungary will hold a referendum on 2 October on its participation in the EU migration relocation scheme.

Last year hundreds of thousands of migrants travelled through Hungary and Austria to try and reach other European nations.

(Getty Images)

But Mr Orban’s government curbed the flow by erecting razor wire and fences along Hungary’s southern borders.

Budapest, the country's capital, introduced further anti-migrant laws this month, including a return of the controversial “no-man’s land” on the Hungarian-Serbian border, where the land is not recognised as either country's territory. Hundreds of refugees and migrants are stuck in camps there.

Mr Kern said migration to Austria and Germany had declined due to Hungary’s stricter border controls.

The comments come after Mr Orban said the tough foreign policy of US Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump was “good for Europe and vital for Hungary”.

Additional reporting by AFP.

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