Hungary says no to the quotas, the relocation of refugees amounts to an invitation, Government Spokesperson Zoltán Kovács said in an interview he gave the Italian newspaper La Stampa which was published on Friday.

Mr Kovács stressed that the referendum of 2 October is „not a referendum about the European Union. On the contrary, Budapest defends the EU, protects its borders”. The spokesperson added, however, that Hungary says no to Brussels’ decisions which „jeopardise Hungary’s security and culture”.

Mr Kovács highlighted: Hungary is not the first, nor the last to erect a wall.

„We do not like walls, but we have to protect ourselves. Not only against migrants, but equally against terrorism, and the disintegration of our culture”, Mr Kovács underlined.

Mr Kovács pointed out that accepting Brussels’ quota policy amounts to a written invitation to hundreds of thousands of asylum-seekers. „We, however, do not want them to come”, the Government Spokesperson stated.

The Government Spokesperson stressed that „Hungary is Europe”, but the will of the countries cannot be ignored. With the referendum, Hungary intends to send the EU a powerful message that they should stop disregarding the will of the people. Mr Kovács highlighted that the Hungarian referendum is not about staying in Europe, but about „the kind of Europe we want”.

„If everyone did their jobs, Hungary would not have to protect the borders as the first line of defence”, Mr Kovács said.

(Cabinet Office of the Prime Minister/MTI)