It is necessary to resort to criminal law in the fight against illegal immigration, and the Constitution must lay down that alien populations cannot be resettled into Hungary, Gergely Gulyás, the Minister heading the Prime Minister’s Office said.

The Minister added that this is why the government supports the enactment of a rule which stipulates that alien populations cannot be resettled into Hungary. The amendment to the Constitution will also lay down the principle of first safe country, he stressed. Mr Gulyás pointed out it is necessary to resort to criminal law in the fight against illegal immigration in order to enable the Hungarian State to defend itself.

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The Minister highlighted that they continue to support the concept that the organisation and funding of illegal immigration should be made a criminal offence. In the context of regulation under criminal law, he drew attention to the fact that criminal law is the most stringent means available in law.

He also said that, due to these proposals, there has been a sharp rise in foreign attacks on the government, the UN refugee agency (UNHCR) “has done best” in this department which issued a declaration of protest just two hours after the submission of the bill.

He said it is obvious that George Soros’s lobbying activities against Hungary will also continue during the period to come, but he hopes that Hungary is strong enough to resist attempts to influence Hungarian and European immigration policies.

Mr Gulyás told the press that at the upcoming summit of the European Union the Hungarian government would like to ensure that the mandatory quotas are rejected, and to this end, if necessary, Prime Minister Viktor Orbán will exercise his veto. In his view, however, Angela Merkel’s statement made on the matter the other day is quite promising as the German Chancellor admitted that former attempts at the distribution of migrants had been unsuccessful.

In answer to a question, he said the Hungarian position is that the amendment of the Fundamental Law is not in any way contrary to EU law, but it is contrary to “Brussels’ attitude to migration”. They did not see a single point in the amendment which would clash with EU law, and therefore they believe that Brussels has no competence on this issue. It is to be hoped that EU institutions will respect Hungary’s sovereignty, he added.

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Regarding the amendment of the Fundamental Law with respect to the protection of private homes, he said the objective is to ensure that demonstrations are not held outside the homes of politicians and public officials, but in public places near to their offices. This means that it will not be possible to hold demonstrations not only outside Prime Minister Viktor Orbán’s home, but equally not outside former Prime Minister Ferenc Gyurcsány’s home, he explained.

The Minister also said that on Tuesday he will travel to Berlin in the company of former Minister of Human Capacities Zoltán Balog, Minister of State for Family and Youth Affairs Katalin Novák and Csaba Hende, President of Parliament’s Committee for Legislation, where they will hold bilateral talks mostly with CDU and CSU politicians, but they will also meet with social democrat Minister of State for Europe Michael Roth.

Fidesz and CDU/CSU are members of the same party family, the European People’s Party, and therefore “we regard them as allies, and will attempt to act accordingly, but we expect the same from them”, Mr Gulyás said in answer to a question. He stressed that Fidesz is able and willing to help the People’s Party, of which the Hungarian government party is the most successful member with the largest support base.

The politician refuted press reports that Fidesz is conducting preliminary talks about joining another European party alliance.

Regarding the formation of a government in Italy, Mr Gulyás said the Hungarian government sees the confirmation of its own policy in the latest developments in Italy. In his view, migration was the most important topic of the Italian elections as well, and forces have come to power which are clearly opposed to the Brussels policy which sees immigration as a positive phenomenon.

We accept, he continued, that what we said about migration can only hope for a silver medal in Europe because compared with public statements made in Italy in the past few days our communications are soft, silky and velvety.

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In answer to a question regarding the government’s reaction to the fact that Amnesty International will launch a global campaign for the human rights of refugees in order to increase the number of legal migration channels, Mr Gulyás said they are not surprised, and in his view making any connection between legal migration routes and the human rights of refugees is a distortion of reality. The Hungarian government believes that refugees are entitled to asylum in the first safe country, as it is not a universal right of refugees to freely choose a country for themselves where they would like to live, he explained.

He said it also raises moral issues that a number of European countries are pursuing a brain drain policy, meaning that they let those people in whom they can use on their own labour markets. If the elite of a country struck by civil war resettles somewhere else, outside their homeland, there will be no one to rebuild their country, he said. He added that the position represented by organisations which call themselves human rights organisations is unjustifiable not only legally, but also morally.