“The Hungarian people and their security are the most important for the Hungarian Government, not allowing illegal immigrants arriving from safe countries to get into Hungary unlawfully and to move around freely”, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade Péter Szijjártó said in a statement to Hungarian news agency MTI on Thursday.
The Minister was reacting to a statement by Margot Wallström published in Thursday’s Göteborgs Posten in which the Swedish Foreign Minister said with relation to Hungary’s new legislation on asylum proceedings that she was worried about its possible consequences. Ms. Wallström said that in her view Human Rights Watch, Amnesty International and others were right to state that “this step may be illegal, but it is certainly inhumane”. It is important that “we, who view it critically, state this”, and it must be debated in EU circles and I am sure it will soon be put onto the agenda of the Council, she said.
The Swedish Foreign Minister also said that she had participated in the meeting of foreign ministers, where it became clear that Hungary is one of those countries “that have purchased large quantities of barbed wire, while we acquired blankets; this clearly symbolises their approach”. They argue that they are acting in the interests of security, but our experience is that most of the people who are arriving are refugees, are fleeing war, or are searching for a new home and a new future for themselves because of poverty, she said.
In reply to a comment by the interviewer concerning news reports about the mistreatment of refugees in Hungary, Margot Wallström declared: “This is not normal and mirrors an approach that is terrible; it shows that man is capable of anything”. “The fact that there is such a huge difference of opinion between us is a source of permanent trauma and frustration in the EU”, she added.
With relation to the above, Mr. Szijjártó explained that the Swedish Foreign Minister “is taking about a difference in approach, and she is correct”. “When not long ago a disabled Hungarian girl needed help to be able to remain in Sweden because her only relatives are living there, Sweden did not feel this was possible and did not provide the required assistance, despite the fact that the Hungarian Government was prepared to contribute towards the costs of her continued residence”, he recalled.
The disabled Hungarian girl did not receive a “blanket” in Sweden, in contrast to illegal immigrants. “This is the hypocritical approach that the Hungarian Government cannot and is not prepared to assume”, he declared.
“The Swedish Government naturally has the right to decide who is important to them, and the Hungarian Government is acting similarly”, he highlighted.
“The Hungarian Government is not interested in conforming to the expectations of the Swedish Prime Minister and Foreign Minister; the Hungarian people and their security are the most important for the Hungarian Government, not allowing illegal immigrants arriving from safe countries to get into Hungary unlawfully and to move around freely”, Mr. Szijjártó pointed out. “This is our approach, it’s that simple”, he declared.
(MTI/Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade)