In an interview with the German newspaper Bild, Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán has rejected the controversial EU migrant resettlement plan. Prime Minister Orbán rejected the notion of providing refuge to millions of migrants coming from Arab and Muslim countries. “We don't see these people as Muslim refugees. We see them as Muslim invaders,” he added.
Prime Minister Orbán took a tough line against the EU open door policy towards migrants. Despite stiff opposition from France and Germany, he constructed a fence on Hungary's southern border to stem the migrant influx.
The remarks were made during the Hungarian leader’s visit to Germany this week, where he appeared at the conference of the Bavarian conservative party CSU. German public broadcaster Deutsche Welle reported:
"We don't see these people as Muslim refugees. We see them as Muslim invaders," [Hungary's Prime Minister Viktor Orbán] told the German daily Bild newspaper.
[Prime Minister Orbán] said the decision of thousands of migrants to journey to richer western European countries like Germany while passing through less wealthy "but stable" countries like Hungary was proof that they could not be classed as refugees, but rather "economic migrants in search of a better life."
Orban also rejected the idea that Hungary should be open to accepting people from majority-Muslim countries, saying his country "doesn't want to be forced."
"We believe that a large number of Muslims inevitably leads to parallel societies, because Christian and Muslim society will never unite," Orban told the paper.
"Multiculturalism is only an illusion," he added.
While Hungary has been successful in regulating the migrant influx, the EU wants the country to take in more migrants as part of a major relocation plan. Brussels wants to resettle some 160,000 migrants across Europe, a move opposed by Hungary and other eastern European member states.
Senior members of Merkel’s cabinet, like Germany’s Vice Chancellor Sigmar Gabriel, have been calling for economic sanctions against Hungary and other EU states that refuse to settle more migrants. Last month, the EU started legal proceedings against Hungary, Poland and the Czech Republic for resisting the plan.
“The solution to the problem is certainly not to divide people who are in the EU illegally across the entire EU region,” said Prime Minister Orbán rejected the migrant resettlement scheme. “We think one has to help where the problem lies, and not bring immigrants here.”
Despite facing opposition from Berlin and Brussels, Prime Minister Orbán enjoys popular support for his stand against mass immigration, and his Fidesz party is expected to dominate the polls scheduled for this summer.