Hungary and Malta have formed a new alliance based on identical assessments of the problems facing the European Union and their concurrence on the issue of migration, Foreign Minister Péter Szijjártó told a press conference after talks with his Maltese counterpart in Valletta. “We agree that migration should be stopped rather than managed, especially in light of the coronavirus pandemic which has brought about new dangers [in Malta], too,” Szijjártó said. Whereas migration had been a risk in terms of security and cultural clashes, it is now a “tremendous” health risk, too, he said, adding the Maltese foreign and EU minister and he were in agreement aiding developments in Africa so that living standards improve there was essential to persuading people in Africa to stay at home. “African countries need their young people, and Europe must make clear that entry to Europe can only be made legally,” the minister said.
Szijjártó also referred to billionaire financier George Soros, saying “it is time to talk plainly about the role of Soros’s NGOs in the Mediterranean”. He accused such organisations of “blackmailing” Europeans regularly and forging alliances with human trafficking networks. He insisted that NGOs commit crimes by aiding migration because “illegal migration is itself a crime”. “The time has come for Europe to put an end to blackmail by NGOs,” Szijjártó said.
The minister said he and his Maltese counterpart agreed that spending on development and investments by the European Union should be tied to the willingness and ability of African countries to stop the outflow of migrants. He noted that two-and-a-half years ago the Visegrad Group of countries had given the EU 35 million euros to strengthen the Libyan coast guard and to buy boats for the purpose, but, he added, Brussels had not bought any yet. The European Commission is now being asked to involve Malta in the procurement of 2-3 boats, he said.