Hungary is fully prepared for ensuring that the country may only be entered on the Hungarian-Croatian border section in a controlled manner, in conformity with the stringent regulations laid down in the Schengen Agreement, Prime Minister Viktor Orbán told journalists upon arriving at the meeting of the European Council in Brussels on Thursday.

The Prime Minister highlighted before the summit of EU heads of state and government: Hungary is able to achieve this state of affairs within an hour if necessary. However, this is only „the second best solution”; the most advantageous measure would be the closing of the Greek border, and this is what we would like to achieve now, he stressed.

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Mr Orbán pointed out: anything definitive can only be resolved with regard to the possible closure of the Hungarian-Croatian border section on Friday morning; at this point in time, we must wait for the outcome of the consultations of the V4 countries (Czech Republic, Poland, Hungary and Slovakia) and the European Council.

At any event, Hungary is fully prepared: “the technical facilities necessary for protecting the green border have been completed, the necessary Hungarian live force is present”, and we have also succeeded in building an international alliance with the Visegrád partners, he said, and added: this is “a Central-European cooperation scheme which is based on heartfelt friendship”, and as part of which the V4 partners share the burdens of border protection.

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Mr Orbán further told the press that he presented a proposal of six items to the latest meeting of the European Council, five of which have been effectively implemented, but the sixth item proposed, based on which “we must go down south and protect” the Greek-Turkish border, has been left untackled. It is to be hoped now that talks will take such a turn that the parties will agree on the closure of this border section, he said. The Prime Minister stated: Hungary is prepared to take part in this because, while it is able to draw the Croatian border section under the effect of the Schengen regulations as it previously did in the case of the Serbian border section, this is only the second best solution.

We would need Greece to meet its contractual obligations of its own accord, something which it has failed to do to date; “it is on this account that we ourselves got into trouble”, he explained. The Prime Minister added: if Greece “is unable to perform this duty, we should do so instead of Greece”.

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At the European Council summit held on 23 September, Mr Orbán proposed that Greece should yield the protection of its external borders to the European countries which are prepared to take part in this project. He initiated the separation of genuine refugees and economic migrants outside the border of the Schengen zone and the identification of a list of safe countries on a European level.

The Prime Minister further recommended that each Member State should increase its EU payments by one per cent and that all expenditures should be reduced by one per cent. He additionally proposed the establishment of priority partnerships with the countries without which the situation cannot be resolved. Finally, Mr Orbán raised the idea of establishing global quotas, i.e. that the entire world should be involved in the management of the crisis.

(Prime Minister's Office)