The European Commission’s approach to handling migration, and its attempt to turn Europe into an “immigration continent”, are diametrically opposed to the wishes of the government and people of Hungary, the state secretary for international communication and relations told a press conference. The Hungarian government has addressed repeatedly the commission’s “attempts to hide the plans and ideas” still on the table regarding illegal migration, Zoltán Kovács said. One such plan is debit cards for migrants, basically a system of support created by circumventing the most important decision-making bodies, he said. Over 60,000 received such cards this January alone, with the whole programme costing over 110 million euros, Kovács said. The system of debit cards “begs a thousand questions”, and demonstrates a will to legalise illegal migration, he said. Other elements of the system are the concept of migrant visas and the mandatory resettlement quota, which are still on the agenda, he said.
The commission is holding its fifth European Migration Forum in April, he noted. Although the official focus is the integration of migrants already in the EU, the invitation still talks about safe and regular migration to Europe, he said.
Asked about the Croatian Peasant Party’s announcement to leave the European People’s Party “to escape the party alliance with, among others, Prime Minister Viktor Orbán”, Kovács said the party in question was rumoured to want to join the Green parliamentary group. “If this is true, that says everything”, he said. “The question is rather what they were doing in the EPP in the first place. “The government is not concerned about “turbulence” surrounding ruling Fidesz in the EPP, “because we speak the truth”, Kovács said.