Politics

Rebuffing Hungarian Criticism, George Soros Says Receiving Migrants Is A Must For Europe

It is an obligation for Europe to receive migrants, US financier George Soros said in response to a question to Hungarian public news channel M1.

“I believe it is Europe’s obligation to care for migrants. It is a humanitarian obligation and I hope Europe will fulfil it,” he said in response to M1’s question concerning whether Europe would indeed be a better place as a result of receiving migrants or whether he was motivated by economic considerations when making such claims.

Soros attended the launch of an institute for Roma culture in Berlin. In response to a question about the criticism his views concerning migrants attracted in central and eastern Europe, especially in Hungary, he said “I am ideologically opposed to the people who are waging that war and I stick to my principles, stand up for it, and I think we shall prevail.”

Meanwhile, the Hungarian government office chief said that Hungary expects disputes to escalate with the European Union over the next six months on the question of EU and member state competences on the issue of migration.

János Lázár told a weekly press briefing that US billionaire George Soros wanted migration to be regulated by the EU rather than member states. He said Soros’ proposal was for Europe to take in one million migrants a year and for migrants to be distributed among member states under a mandatory redistribution scheme. The proposal also involves making the regulation of migration an EU competence. Lázár said this position was “unacceptable” for the Hungarian government and the 1.7 million people who had taken part in its “national consultation” survey. Hungary’s stance is to “stop migration rather than organise it”.

Lázár said that political programmes requiring Hungary to transfer a new slate of competences to Brussels would likely emerge. He said migration would be the focus of the EU summit to be held later this month. Citing Prime Minister Viktor Orbán’s outline of the agenda of the summit, Lázár said the government was expecting an intense debate on migration at the European Council meeting.

via hungarymatters.hu and MTI; photo: Yuri Gripas – Reuters