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EU Commissioner Dimitris Avramopoulos. Photo supplied

EU voters expect border protection says Hungarian MEP

The European Union “must protect its borders at sea and on land as expected by its voters,” Kinga Gal, MEP of Hungary’s ruling Fidesz, said on Tuesday.

Published: January 22, 2019, 7:30 am

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    Brussels should “prevent thousands of migrants from risking their lives at the Mediterranean Sea; it should make it clear that they cannot enter the continent illegally and it must eliminate the human smuggling rings,” Gal said.

    Gal responded to remarks by EU Commissioner Dimitris Avramopoulos, who said there was no migration crisis because the number of illegal immigrants had fallen. He insisted that the EU was a community based on solidarity and “humanitarian values”, and called for those “values” to be preserved.

    Peter Niedermuller, an MEP of the leftist Democratic Coalition, called for temporary measures to distribute migrants rescued at sea among volunteering member states, before the new European Parliament is formed in July. He complained that “there was no chance to change the Dublin Regulation because some EU members would not consent out of political selfishness, fear or hate mongering”.

    Meanwhile, Lorinc Nacsa, the parliamentary spokesman of Hungary’s junior governing Christian Democrats (KDNP) accused George Soros and leading EU politicians “paid” by the US billionaire of being behind Brussels’ open-border policy.

    In a statement on Tuesday, Christian democrat MEP Gyorgy Holvenyi stressed that religious persecution was one of the main reasons of migration, and the European Union should take responsibility for the persecuted Christians.

    Two-thirds of respondents in a recent poll see illegal migration to Hungary as a concern, while 40 percent said that the problem was serious, pollster Szazadveg told MTI on Wednesday, citing a survey of 1 000 adults conducted in December.

    Some 76 percent of all respondents thought that masses of African migrants would come to Europe in the next decade, “for clearly economic reasons”, the pollster said.

    Eighty-seven percent said that migrants were an increasing burden on the European economy, while only 8 percent saw them as an economic asset, the report noted. Eighty-six percent also said that immigration from other cultures was likely to increase the chances for conflicts rather than enrich European culture.

    Asked about the Hungarian government’s measures concerning illegal migration, “72 percent said they were satisfied in general, while 46 percent voiced full support”, and 30 percent expressed “some kind of disagreement”, according to Szazadveg.

    Seventy-eight percent of respondents voiced dissatisfaction with the European Union’s handling of illegal migration, and 18 percent said that they were “to some extent” satisfied with the same measures, the report said.

    Ninety three percent said that the EU should take more effective measures to protect its borders, adding that 81 percent said they rejected a planned mechanism of distributing migrants on a quota basis.

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