The Government refutes Martin Schulz’s statement in the strongest possible terms as the chancellor candidate of the German social democrats “attempts to embroil Hungary in the German internal political campaign”, and evidently “seeks to use to his political advantage” Hungary’s approach to the issue of migration which widely departs from his own, Government Spokesperson Zoltán Kovács told the Hungarian news agency MTI on Wednesday.

Mr Kovács responded to the fact that Martin Schulz said in a speech reviewed by the Brussels news portal Politico that if elected as chancellor, he will push for the EU to cut subsidies to countries that do not take in refugees. According to Politico, Martin Schulz said in reference to Prime Minister Viktor Orbán: “When it comes to agricultural policy, it’s all ‘Yes, please.’ When it comes to subsidies, it’s all ‘Yes, please.’ And when it comes to solidarity in refugee policy, it’s ‘No, thank you’ — that’s not acceptable.”

Mr Kovács said: they suggest to Martin Schulz that as he has lost three elections in the past four months, he should concentrate on his own internal political problems, and should leave Hungary well out of the German election campaign.

The Government Spokesperson pointed out that this is not Martin Schulz’s first statement made in this vein in the past few months, and it is not surprising in light of the stance the Social Democrat party leader took on the issue of illegal migration as President of the European Parliament. Statements such as this coming from Martin Schulz testify to the “double standards” which exist in the heads of Western-European politicians regarding Hungary, he added.

Mr Kovács stressed: the Hungarian position related to illegal migration “has nothing to do with” the cohesion funds, that is the development funds of the European Union. These are two completely different systems existing on different foundations and independently from one another, and connecting them together is nothing short of “political blackmail” which Hungary will not yield to, he highlighted.

Hungary maintains its position regarding illegal migration, he stated. He added that, in his view, the current crisis is not a refugee crisis, but a continental migration crisis in which “tens and hundreds of thousands, in fact, millions” are making their way towards Europe, abusing the mentality which Martin Schulz’s manifestations reflect.

The Government Spokesperson indicated: they have tried to use the quotas as a unit of measurement in solidarity for two years now in Europe. In his view, this is a false unit of measurement, “with special regard to the way in which the decision on the quotas was adopted”. He reiterated that Hungary is currently engaged in litigation on account of the decision, with Slovakia, Poland and others on its side, as it regards it as “unfair, unlawful and impracticable”.

(Cabinet Office of the Prime Minister/MTI)