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Prime Minister Viktor Orbán, in an interview with public broadcaster Kossuth Radio on Friday, said administration and health-care staff, as well as people helping police officers and soldiers, were a guarantee of Hungary’s health-care system not collapsing. All the necessary equipment, beds, ventilators are available, as well as the designated Covid hospital, which could be operational “in an instant”. Calling the work of doctors and nurses “superhuman” and “heroic”, Orbán noted the government’s decision to boost wages in the sector. The wage hikes signalled to health-care staff that “the country stands by them”, he added.
Meanwhile, Orbán said migration was expected to ramp up significantly at Hungary’s southern border over the next few months. So far this year, more than 100,000 migrants have been stopped at Hungary’s border, three times last year’s figure. At the same time, the Italian-Spanish, Eastern and Balkan routes were all seeing a massive increase in migration, he said, noting that 30,000-35,000 people were leaving Afghanistan each day, most likely in Hungary’s direction, intending to traverse the country. He said the European Union’s rules on migration had been written in peacetime and were now obsolete. “Today there’s no peacetime,” he added. The new Berlin government sees Germany “as an immigrant country”, while Hungary is not in favour of turning into one, he said, adding that the two standpoints were “incompatible”, and neither side would abandon its position.
He noted that Hungary deports illegal migrants across the border, and applications for asylum are processed either at the Hungarian embassy of their country of origin or the last country they have passed through. He also noted that the EU rejected this solution and insisted Hungary should “accept these people” and process asylum claims in the country. Brussels, Orbán added, should cover its share of the costs of defending Europe’s external border rather than punishing countries on the frontline doing so. Instead, the EU funded the “pro-migration organisations” of George Soros, he said.