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Cabinet Chief: European Commission’s Proposal On Migrant Quotas Is Unacceptable For Hungary

Tamás Székely 2015.05.29.

The Hungarian government “flatly rejects” the quota system on migrants put forward by the European Commission (EC), cabinet chief János Lázár told reporters. The proposed system is unacceptable for Hungary and the government considers the commission’s position on this issue “unpredictable, unplannable and unclear,” he said, adding that while three weeks ago news was that Hungary must receive only 300 immigrants, now Brussels is talking about 1,100 people. Hungary supports the position that migrants trying to get into the European Union should be stopped outside the bloc’s borders.

It is at this point consideration should be given to whether to allow them entry, Lázár said, proposing setting up reception centres outside the EU’s borders. “The wave of migrants should be received not within but outside of the EU’s borders,” he insisted. Lázár said the government would address this issue at a cabinet meeting next week. Under the commission’s proposal, the 40,000 refugees from Syria and Eritrea who arrived in Italy and Greece would be distributed among member states. Hungary would be asked to receive 496 refugees from Italy and 331 from Greece. Member states would receive 6,000 euros per refugee received.

At his regular Thursday press briefing the Cabinet Chief also spoke about different domestic issues. The government plans to allow Hungarians in public work programmes temporary leave for seasonal work during the summer months, he confirmed. Public workers would get 120 days of leave without pay, during which time they could participate in seasonal work in the agricultural or the construction sectors, he said. The Hungarian government aims in this way to orient public workers towards the job market, he added.

On the subject of Hungary’s Paks nuclear upgrade, János Lázár said there were no “unresolved issues” as far as the European Commission was concerned regarding the project and concerns that Hungary may have used illegal state aid in its financing. After nine months of constructive talks, Hungary has answered all questions raised in connection with competition law, János Lázár said. The government is ready to answer any further questions on the project. But if there aren’t any, it awaits the commission’s approval, he said.

The Hungarian government is committed to the use of real life sentences in its justice system and rejects European criticism of this form of punishment, Lázár said. The Strasbourg court has said real life sentences are against European law. In response, Hungary offered to introduce the possibility of amnesty. “It looks like Strasbourg and Brussels will not accept this answer and will attack the institution of real life sentences, but the Hungary will fight this,” he said, adding that the matter would be addressed at a cabinet meeting next week.

via hungarymatters.hu photo: Zoltán Máthé – MTI