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Fidesz MEP Tamás Deutsch says the key task in 2020 is to put a halt to migration to Europe.

Deutsch, the head of the Fidesz-led governing alliance’s group of MEPs in Brussels, told a press conference on Friday that Hungarian voters had tasked the government with preventing further migration to Europe and protecting Europe’s Christian way of life as well as Hungary’s national interests.

Citing reports of German citizens being threatened by illegal migrants in possession of firecrackers during New Year celebrations, he insisted that unlike the case of mass sexual assaults in Cologne in 2015-2016, Germany’s media had not tried to suppress the reports this time round.

Deutsch Calls on Von der Leyen to ‘Do Everything’ to Stop Migration

He said the European Union should introduce a new rule banning the mandatory resettlement of migrants and requiring measures to bolster the bloc’s external borders. Asylum applications, he added, should be assessed beyond the external border and illegal immigrants returned to their country of origin.

Deutsch said it was likely the government and Fidesz would come under harsh attack in the debate on such a regulation.

Meanwhile, on the topic of the next 2021-2027 EU budget, he called for a fair budget that took into consideration Hungarian citizens’ interests. The budget itself should be reduced only to the degree Brexit would affect it, and cohesion as well as farm and rural development funds should stay level with current funding, he said. Substantive action on climate protection is needed, he said, adding that the EU should allocate new resources to meet its ambitious climate commitments.

Justice Minister after Article 7 Hearing: Hungary Targeted by Witch Hunt

On the subject of EU enlargement, he said accession talks with Serbia and Montenegro needed a clear target date. When it comes to North Macedonia and Albania, the recent decision to stymie accession talks should be resolved in the opposite direction, he added.

Deutsch said a key task for Fidesz in Brussels was to protect Hungarian national interests, and he charged opposition MEPs with encouraging the mounting attacks against Hungary. “Without exception, they  … vote against the interests of the Hungarian people,” he said, adding that opposition MEPs had aided efforts in the European Parliament to launch the Article 7 procedure and other punitive measures against Hungary.

He insisted various parts of the Sargentini report had been revealed as a “tsunami of lies” during the course of the Article 7 procedure. The European Court of Justice, he said, had ruled that processing asylum applications in transit zones did not constitute detention, and a corruption watchdog had said that claims about graft in connection with public procurements had been unfounded.

Deutsch called for all parliamentary parties to become involved in drafting a law amendment ensuring that “totally crazy fake news” disappeared from various community sites.

In reply to a question about Fidesz’s place in the European People’s Party, Deutsch said Fidesz alone would decide which European party family it would belong to.

Featured photo by György Varga/MTI