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Government: Italian PM “Blackmailed” Hungary Over Mandatory Migrant Quota At EU Summit

By Ferenc Sullivan // 2016.02.19.

Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi has threatened Visegrád countries with decreasing EU development funds if they refuse to take part in the “effective management” of the migrant crisis. In response, government spokesman Zoltán Kovács has branded Prime Minister Renzi’s statement “political blackmail” against Hungary and other members of the Visegrád group.

At EU leaders’ two-day summit on the possible solutions to the migrant crisis yesterday, the Italian Prime Minister said that “the migration crisis is a common European problem affecting all European countries” and Hungary, the Czech Republic, Poland and Slovakia will  the EU budget will show “less solidarity” in their direction if they fail to demonstrate solidarity themselves.

The form of development support in question could possible be the development funds for lesser-developed regions of former Socialist countries to be paid in the 2014-2020 budgetary framework, a Brussels source disclosed. Italy is tbe third-greatest contributor to the fund after Germany and France, while the Netherlands, the country currently currently holding the presidency of the Council of the European Union, has raised the possibility of partially diverting structural funds to covering expenses brought on by the migrant crisis.


Hungarian government spokesman Zoltán Kovács (photo:

In response to the Italian Prime Minister’s remarks, Hungarian government spokesman Zoltán Kovács said that Mr. Renzi has “politically blackmailed” Hungary and the Visegrád countries when, according to press reports, he warned of cutting EU funds to countries refusing to accept the proposal on migrant quotas.

Speaking on the public all-news channel M1 on Friday morning, Mr. Kovács confirmed that Visegrád countries remain opposed to mandatory migrants quotas and are convinced that these will not prove to be the solution to Europe. He also argued that the immigration policies pursued by the community so far have failed and an agreement between the EU and Turkey would be necessary, as well as Greece enforcing the rules of the Schengen Agreement.