“We are still in the same situation as in 2015: the European Union is defenceless from a southern direction, the border is wide open”, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade Péter Szijjártó emphasised on Friday in a telephone statement to Hungarian news agency MTI from Athens.

According to the Hungarian Foreign Minister, the arrival of a new wave of migration into Europe from a southern or south-eastern direction is exclusively dependent on continued compliance to the migration agreement between the EU and Turkey.

“This is one of the reasons why it is extremely important to keep Hungary’s southern border closed. Because if a another wave of illegal immigration sets out in a south-eastern direction via the Western Balkans, in view of the lack of any other obstacle, it will immediately appear at Hungary’s southern border”, Mr. Szijjártó said.

The Minister, who is attending a meeting of foreign ministers from the Visegrád Group (V4) and the Balkan countries in the Greek capital, stressed: “With relation to the future of Europe, it is unavoidable for the migration crisis to be the most important issue on the agenda”.

“In Greece, the situation is becoming more dramatic day-by-day. The number of illegal immigrants arriving in Thessaloniki increased by 500% in April alone”, Mr. Szijjártó explained, adding: “According to the locals the situation is beginning to resemble that of 2015, on top of which Greece’s Constitutional Court has stated that people arriving on the island can travel on to the mainland”. “And where will they travel on to from there?”, the Minister asked.

According to Mr. Szijjártó, migration pressure will most certainly increase, because the ongoing debates within international organisations are inspiring further migration instead of stopping it.

“During the course of these debates we are continuously hearing that migration is good and that migration must be encouraged”, the Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade pointed out, according to whom the African position is overwriting the EU position, and the EU is complying with the African context, and all of this is having an encouraging effect on migration processes.

“In view of the fact that Europe’s southern and south-eastern borders are open and defenceless, just as they were three years ago, Hungary’s southern border defence measures must be maintained at the strictest possible level”, Mr. Szijjártó underlined.

The European Union and Turkey agreed two years ago that Ankara will readmit everyone who enters the territory of the European Union illegally, and in return the EU will provide several billion euros to help Turkey provide for the millions of refugees currently in Turkey, in addition to admitting a Syrian refugee from Turkey in exchange for every Syrian illegal immigrant it sends back.

(Cabinet Office of the Prime Minister/MTI)