Instead of bringing problems to Europe, the Hungarian government wants to take help to where it is needed, Foreign Minister Péter Szijjártó said in an interview with Munich-based daily Süddeutsche Zeitung.
The minister said foreign politicians and the international press were “unfair” to Hungary on the matter. “In the migration debate nobody has ever talked about the fact that we have spent 34 million euros so far to help Middle Eastern and African Christians stay in their own countries. We build schools, renovate churches and demolished homes, finance hospitals. We do this to keep those living there safe at home. It is a human right that nobody should be forced to migrate, that people should be able to live in their country safely, without being under threat,” the minister said.
Answering a question on the government’s ad campaign, Szijjártó said Hungarians had to be informed about what is happening in Brussels. “It is unacceptable to us that illegal migrants should come to Europe. It is unacceptable that they should be distributed based on mandatory quotas,” he said, adding that the most important thing to Hungary is to defend the external borders of the Schengen zone.
The paper also asked the minister about the relationship between Fidesz and the European People’s Party. Szijjártó noted that the Hungarian governing party, which won 53% of the votes in the recent European parliamentary election, is the most successful member of the EPP. The EPP has “shifted too far in a liberal, left-wing direction” in its cooperation with the Social Democrats, he said. “For us, the most important thing is to represent the will of the Hungarian people. It is solely up to us whether we will leave the EPP. We will stay as long as it is within the EPP that we can best represent Hungary’s interests,” Szijjártó said.
Bavaria is not just a strategic ally, but a real friend to Hungary, Szijjártó said. This friendship is deeply rooted in the two countries’ shared histories, he added. The minister also talked about the candidacy of German Defence Minister Ursula von der Leyen for the presidency of the European Commission. He said von der Leyen is a good candidate who has always treated Hungary fairly and respectfully, and all 13 MEPs of Fidesz will support her election. Answering a question concerning the Hungarian Academy of Sciences (MTA), Szijjártó said the freedom of science and research is still guaranteed in Hungary, the government supports science and will increase the funding of research but it has the right to set the priorities.