Hungarian PM: EU ‘Openly on the Side of Terrorists’
Eastern European leaders defiant as legal action begins to force refugee resettlement compliance
Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán lashed out at the European Union on Monday, just one day before the supranational bloc is set to begin legal proceedings against his country for noncompliance with its migrant resettlement scheme.
“Brussels is openly on the side of terrorists,” said Orbán while addressing parliament on Monday afternoon. Orbán’s comments, some of his harshest yet for EU officials in Brussels, referred to criticism of Hungary’s detention of a migrant, Ahmed H., under terror charges for illegally attempting to cross the Hungarian border.
“As long as I am the Prime Minister of Hungary and stand here, so will the border fence stand on the southern border,” Orbán declared defiantly.
The central European nation has been steadfast in its refusal to accept mass numbers of Muslim migrants. It is one of only two EU countries — the other being Poland — that have not welcomed even a single refugee.
The EU is set to initiate legal proceedings against Hungary and Poland this week for their resistance, along with the Czech Republic — which voted earlier this month to stop its participation in the program after taking in roughly a dozen migrants.
The European Commission is expected to send "letters of formal notice" to Budapest, Warsaw, and Prague on Tuesday. However, it is unlikely the letters will do much to soften the three countries' resolve to resist refugee resettlement.
"We want a Hungarian Hungary and a European Europe," Orbán said, stressing that while Hungary has never been "hostile to Europe," the EU "is not Brussels." Hungary refuses to accept the notion that "our future is determined in Moscow, Brussels or Washington," Orbán said.
Polish officials also indicated Monday that they wouldn't — for the moment, anyway — acquiesce to the EU's resettlement efforts.
"We believe that the relocation methods attract more waves of immigration to Europe, they are ineffective," said Poland's Interior Minister, Mariusz Blaszczak, according to Polish state news agency PAP.
Earlier in May, Blaszczak claimed that participating in the EU refugee resettlement program would "certainly be worse" than any punishment the EU could impose on Poland for not doing so.
"Let us remember what happened in Western Europe. Let us remember the terrorist attacks," Błaszczak said at the time. "Remember that just started from a relatively small number of Muslim communities, which are now very numerous."
Last week Polish President Andrzej Duda reiterated Poland's position, while promising to hold a referendum on the subject if the EU continues to threaten Poland.
"Poland does not consent to the forced relocation of refugees on our territory," said Duda.