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Ungarn Viktor Orban Premierminister
Image: imago

Hungarian leader slams 'rude' German refugee tone

February 25, 2016

Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban has accused Germany of being aggressive over the refugee crisis. He spoke out on what he perceives as the risks to Europe of an uncontrolled migrant influx.


Speaking to the German mass-market daily "Bild," Orban said Germany had adopted an uncultivated manner when talking of Europe's refugee crisis and its proposals for a redistribution of migrants within the European Union according to a quota system.

"Today, the tone from Germany is gruff, rude and aggressive," Orban told the paper in an interview published on Thursday.

Orban has vigorously opposed what it sees as German Chancellor Angela Merkel's liberal refugee policy and has called a referendum in Hungary on whether to accept mandatory EU quotas for migrants.

"The quotas will change the profile of Europe from an ethnic, cultural and religious point of view," he said, warning that an uncontrolled migrant influx brought the risk of "terrorism, criminality, anti-Semitism and homophobia."

He defended the quota referendum, saying such "life-changing" decisions should not be made "over people's heads."

'Danger to Europe'

As an example of the perils he said migrants posed, Orban referred to the New Year's Eve sexual attacks in the western German city of Cologne, where hundreds of women reported incidents in which they were groped by men of "north African or Arab appearance" and charges for at least one case of rape were filed.

"I have four daughters and I don't want my children to grow up in a world where Cologne could happen," he said.

Orban also attacked a deal struck between the EU and Turkey in a bid to slow the number of refugees and migrants setting off by boat for Europe from Turkish soil in exchange for 3 billion euros ($3.3 billion) of support.

Grenze Ungarn - Serbien - Flüchtlinge
Hungary is one of several countries to erect anti-refugee fencesImage: picture-alliance/dpa/Z. Gergely Kelemen

"The EU is now going to the Turks like a beggar. We are begging [President Recep Tayyip] Erdogan - in return for money and promises - to secure our borders because we can't protect them ourselves."

Turkey, which is currently home to some 2 million refugees, would seal its borders and then fly refugees to Europe for them to be settled under the quota system as part of the deal with the EU.

The hardline Hungarian prime minister's tough policies on refugees, which include the closing of Hungary's southern borders with razor wire and fences, appear to be hitting a strong chord at home, with his popularity ratings rising.

tj/sms (AFP, KNA)

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