Rightwing leader says the flow of people consists of ‘economic migrants and fighters’ along with refugees as Hungary offers trains for people to return to Turkey
Hungary’s prime minister Viktor Orban has described the refugees enteringEurope as “looking like an army” as he defended his hardline stance against migrants.
Speaking at a gathering in Madrid of conservative parties from across the continent, Orban said: “What he have been facing is not a refugee crisis.
“This is a migratory movement composed of economic migrants, refugees and also foreign fighters. This is an uncontrolled and unregulated process,” he told the European People’s party congress.
“Right to human dignity and security are basic rights. But neither the German nor the Hungarian way of life is a basic right of all people on the Earth.
Almost 600,000 people fleeing war and poverty, mainly from Syria, Iraq and Afghanistan, have arrived in Europe so far this year, with the bulk of them heading for Germany and Sweden.
Hungary has responded to the largest movement of people in Europe since 1945by building a steel fence along its borders with Serbia and Croatia, a step both welcomed and criticised by various leaders around Europe.
“We cannot avoid to speak about the quality of our democracies,” said Orban.
“Does it comply with the freedom of information and speech that media usually show women and children while 70% of the migrants are young men and they look like an army?
“Just because we do not consider them as enemies we must not act againt ourselves. Our moral responsibility is to give back these people to their homes and countries,” Orban said.
His government later offered to help return migrants who had been refused asylum in fellow EU countries to Turkey.
“If necessary, we are ready to allow trains carrying illegal migrants from the west to Greece or Turkey via our territory. We could even offer up (Hungarian) trains,” interior minister Sandor Pinter told journalists after meeting his Serbian counterpart, Nebojsa Stefanic.
The pair visited the Roezke border crossing near the Hungarian-Serbian frontier, the scene of violent clashes between migrants and Hungarian police on 16 September.