We will do everything we can to protect the Hungarian border fence and the security of the Hungarian people.

Government Spokesperson István Hollik said last week proved that migrants continue to flood into Europe in mass numbers via the sea, while the pressure of migration is also intensifying by land, in particular on the Balkans route.

He added that in consequence of this a German proposal which repeatedly raises the idea of the mandatory quotas has been taken off the shelf again and placed before the European Council. This means that there are still politicians who, despite what has been going on in Europe in the past three years, continue to insist on forcing the mandatory quotas upon European Member States, he observed.

He said therefore it is important to point out “already in the initial phase of consideration” that on this matter the Hungarian government will continue to enforce the will of the Hungarian people, and according to its position, the mandatory quotas are a dangerous proposal because it relays the message to millions of African and East Asian immigrants that they are welcomed in Europe.

The Hungarian government’s position has not changed: Rather than bringing migrants to Europe and distributing them, migrants who are residing in Europe illegally must be taken out of Europe, he confirmed.

He stressed that the mandatory quotas violate the sovereignty of Member States as no one can be forced to take in immigrants against their will. This legal position of the government continues to hold valid, he pointed out.

With reference to the pressure of migration weighing heavily on Europe which has intensified in recent weeks, the Government Spokesperson stated that the Hungarian government continues to firmly believe that we must primarily protect Europe’s and Hungary’s security and borders.

The government will take all measures necessary to protect the Hungarian border fence, and through this to guarantee the security of the Hungarian people, while we will firmly reject the mandatory quotas on each and every occasion, Mr Hollik underlined.

In answer to a question relating to the possible amendment of regulations concerning cultural institutions, the Government Spokesperson said the government does not intend to change the sum of cultural grants and does not intend to withdraw funds of any kind. He added that they will likewise not make changes to the mandatory and voluntary responsibilities of municipalities related to culture.

At the same time, he took the view that the Gothár scandal highlighted the shortcomings of the present funding, operating and grant system, and the government believes it is not acceptable that the state should only take responsibility in funding, but not on operational issues.

He drew attention to the fact that in the current funding system the state has no scope for removing the Director of Katona József Theatre from his job, despite the fact, Mr Hollik added, that this would be justified.

He said, in the case of institutions operating in a mixed financing arrangement – funded both by the state and municipalities – at present the government is unable to exercise the responsibility of operation, and so they wish to change this situation. He added that municipalities have the right and possibility to operate cultural institutions and theatres independently, and naturally the state has no say of any kind in the operation of such institutions.

He said the government will not abolish the National Cultural Fund; it will renew and perfect the system instead.

In answer to the question as to whether they have started consultations about the possible amendments with the capital’s leadership, Mr Hollik said consultations must take place in Parliament where all elected Members of Parliament, including the representatives of Gergely Karácsony’s party, will have the opportunity to state their views.

The Government Spokesperson said responding to a question regarding the Liget Project and the Buda superhospital that all affairs related to Budapest will be on the agenda of the meeting of the Council for Metropolitan Public Developments which Gergely Gulyás, the Minister heading the Prime Minister’s Office convened for next week.

In answer to a journalist’s question – querying whether the fact that, according to a survey, the businesses of László Szíj and Lőrinc Mészáros have been awarded public procurements worth HUF 2,100 billion could distort the market – Mr Hollik said the Hungarian government must enforce two criteria in connection with public procurements. On the one hand, it must ensure that useful projects are implemented, and on the other, it must guarantee that the laws are observed by everyone. He highlighted that many accusations are levelled in connection with the above-mentioned two economic players; the government encourages everyone to contact the authorities if they are aware of specific breaches.

(Cabinet Office of the Prime Minister/MTI)