Brussels “must stop its scheme of granting prepaid bank cards to migrants without delay”, the head of the Prime Minister’s Office said. Gergely Gulyás told a government press briefing that it was “worrying that terrorists are also able to get hold of the bank cards” and it was “unacceptable” that the European Union and the United Nations financially aided their travel arrangements and accommodation in Europe.
The government has information about the threat of a “migrant caravan”, he said, adding that it was not yet known whether this threat would materialise. “But if it does, Hungary’s border protection forces are prepared and capable of protecting the country.” He said it was important that Hungary does not fall victim to migration. Hungary wants to help people, especially Christian communities — even beyond its international obligations — and the government has decided to support two projects in Syria, Gulyás said, referring to the Hungary Helps scheme, with 794 million forints (EUR 2.48m) provided for the rebuilding of a school and 318 million forints for revamping houses and social institutions in Homs. “The aim is to urgently create the conditions that encourage people to stay; instead of importing trouble to Europe, help should be taken to those that need it,” he added.
Gulyás said the European Union was “basically pro-migration” and the migration commissioner was “distinctly pro-migration”, which was “unacceptable”. He called for efforts to be made in the European Parliament election campaign that end with a clear message that “European and Hungarian citizens want an EC that is against migration”, he said.
Commenting on ruling Fidesz’s membership of the European People’s Party, he said the EPP needed Fidesz more than the other way around. Fidesz, he added, wanted to stay in the EPP but if, for instance, the party group made concessions to pro-migration forces, then the Hungarian government would not cooperate. At the same time, he insisted that Fidesz aimed to normalise relations with the EPP. The March meeting in which the EPP decided to suspend Fidesz’s membership was a “gathering which belongs to the entertainment industry”, he said. He described the debate as “damaging” to the EPP and “tragi-comic”, adding that the party was “trying to shoot itself in the foot” during the EP campaign by debating whether “its strongest member” should be sanctioned. Gulyás said EPP leader Mandfred Weber appeared to be the best candidate, even if his position wavered on certain issues.
Regarding a letter Gulyás sent to European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker in February raising objections to EC First Vice-President Frans Timmermans’s campaign as the spitzenkandidat of the Socialists while retaining his position in the EC, Gulyás cited Juncker’s answer that Timmermans was able to keep the two functions separate. “Facts don’t seem to support that,” he said.
On another subject, Gulyás said that Interior Minister Sándor Pintér has invited Italian Deputy Prime Minister Matteo Salvini to visit Hungary. Hungary applauds Salvini’s policies because he has shown that maritime migration, too, “can be stopped”. The Hungarian government “fully agrees” with Salvini that the protection of external borders “is essential to stopping migration”, Gulyás added. If voters support the ruling Fidesz-Christian Democrat alliance’s anti-migration, anti-united-states-of-Europe policies in the upcoming European parliamentary election, it will be taken as an instruction in terms of the coalitions they enter into, he said.