Fidesz caucus leader Antal Rogán held an open-air press conference at Budapest’s Keleti railway station on Tuesday at which he sought to assure the electorate that the government will handle these “economic migrants” with rigorous measures, and will ensure the safety of Hungarian civilians.
Inexplicably, Keleti has been flooded with Kosovar migrants trying to board westbound international trains during the past week. Several hundred were taken off trains in the western city of Győr last week by the Hungarian police.
Standing in front of outbound trains at the station, Rogán told the press that “Immigration has become a real and a pressing issue for Hungary.” He added that the exceptional influx of asylum seekers, 23 asylum applications during January, requires stepping up the rigorousness of immigration procedures. Therefore Rogán proposed that asylum seekers should still remain in custody and in detention centers instead of open camps.
The press conference was interrupted by civil rights activists who appeared behind Rogán, with signs reading “Would you have closed the borders in 1956?” – in reference to the hundreds of thousands of Hungarians leaving the country after the Soviet invasion crushing the uprising. Another sign read “Warning! Xenophobic government propaganda!.” Police officers almost immediately detained the activists, asking for their identity papers.
Protesters also reminded Rogán and his party that since the beginning of Prime Minister Viktor Orbán’s second term in office began in 2010, an estimated half million Hungarians have left the country, and therefore emigration from Hungary is a more pressing issue to address.