Minister Overseeing the Office of the Prime Minister János Lázár says there is a place for solidarity with refugees but that place is most certainly not in Hungary.
In an interview with Magyar Nemzet published Tuesday, Prime Minister Viktor Orbán’s right-hand man repeated his employer’s position on the EU’s managing of the refugee crisis, explained there are no security risks with Hungary’s residency bond program and defended Hungary against criticism that it is harsh and shows no solidarity. He dismissed notions that the October 2 migrant referendum may pave the way for Hungary’s departure from the European Union.
Referendum ≠ HUEXIT
“We will do everything to stop Brussels. If the referendum is valid and successful, we will pursue public law and legislative actions to provide adequate defense for the country. We are not thinking of leaving the EU,” Lázár said.
“There is an increasing sense of anti-EU sentiments and euroskepticism in Hungary, but those who believe that Hungary is better as a member of the European Union far outnumber those who don’t. The referendum is not about leaving the EU, but I would not dismiss the significance of the Hungarian people’s right to make their opinions known about Brussels’ migration policy. Many will be listening to us on October 2.”
Hungary is often criticized for being harsh but don’t expect a show of solidarity
While Lázár admits that Hungary has been criticized for its harsh treatment towards refugees and the unwillingness of its government to show solidarity with those affected by war, the minister says “there is a place for solidarity and it is not in Hungary, it is in those countries from where these people came, the areas where these problems first started. Our country can best support those people there, and that is why we are building a hospital in Syria.”
Responding to Slovakian President Andrej Kiska’s criticism of Orbán for turning Brussels into a four-letter word and for cynically reducing complex problems to a simplified issue, Lázár stood up for his homeland and its super awesome democracy.
“The Hungarian government rejects that statement! Asking what the voters think is never cynical, I don’t even understand how a democratic politician can say that referendum is cynical. A referendum is the holiest thing in a democracy. And Brussels is not a swear word, but the Hungarian people see that we are trying to protect ourselves from the migrants and that Western Europe is trying to force them on us. Why do we have to welcome people if we don’t want to? That is what Brussels needs to explain,” Lázár said.
Migrants are safe when they pay big bucks
“There are no national security risks with the residency bond program, and there is no threat that criminals or those suspected of having committed crimes would be among the bond’s buyers,” Lázár said. (Others would disagree.)
“The purpose of the residency bond is to lure investors to our homeland. Similar programs exist in several European countries, and they even offer citizenship to those who are able to meet the financial conditions to take part in the program. I see that the media is eager to showcase the residency bond program as something negative, but there are no problems connected to the program,” said the minister.
“The program is overseen by national security services and the Immigration and Citizenship (BÁH). We should not focus on the residency bond program’s risks, we should speak instead about its advantages. This exists in dozens of other countries around Europe. I do not believe that the voters of Ambrózfalva should have a problem with foreigns who purchase a Hungarian state bond for EUR 300,000,” he said.