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It is clear that Brussels is applying double standards when it comes to the issue of border fences used to halt migration, Péter Szijjártó, Hungary’s foreign minister, said in an interview published in the Czech daily Mlada Fronta Dnes on Tuesday.

Szijjártó noted that Hungary was “harshly attacked” in 2015 for building a fence on its southern border.

“Now Lithuania and Poland are being roundly praised” for their fence-building, the minister said. “I think we made the right decision six years ago: fences have proved to be indispensable for effectively protecting borders and the European continent as a whole.”

“Migration is seen in Hungary as a serious danger,” Szijjártó said, adding that the appearance of terrorists among the migrants posed a threat to security.

The minister also said migrants from remote cultures were unwilling to integrate themselves into European societies.

“Now Brussels is saying the same as we did six years ago,” Szijjártó said, adding that disputes with Brussels were ideological rather than political. The governments of Poland and Hungary, he said, were based on conservative, patriotic and Christian traditions incompatible with the views of the liberal mainstream in Brussels.

“But we are not going to stop defending our national interests and make bad compromises. It is unacceptable that Brussels is discriminating against us for ideological reasons and blocking our access to EU funds,” Szijjártó said.

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“The European Union will only be strong if its member states are strong. Hungary rejects efforts to introduce federalism and establish a united states of Europe. We do not want to relinquish more powers to Brussels, and we insist on keeping migration, welfare and family policies as national competences,” Szijjártó said.

featured image Péter Szijjártó’s Facebook page