Europe is facing migration pressure from multiple directions which is likely to grow in the coming months due to the European Union’s “irresponsible” migration policies, Foreign Minister Péter Szijjártó said in Finland on Tuesday.
In addition to the migration pressure from the south and southeast of the continent, Europe is now also struggling with a flow of migrants from the east, the foreign ministry cited Szijjártó as saying at a forum of the Visegrad, northern and Baltic states in Hameenlinna, in southern Finland.
Lithuania and Poland feel threatened by the flow of migrants from the direction of Belarus, Szijjártó said according to the ministry’s statement, adding that this also had a direct impact on northern Europe.
The migration pressure on these parts of the EU is likely to increase over the coming months, he said, pointing out that four million Afghans had already fled their country and “certain people in western Europe are encouraging them to set off for the continent”.
Szijjártó said northern Europe today was facing the same challenge central Europe had been dealing with since 2015, adding that this was changing those countries’ approach towards the issue of migration.
“Hungary faced scathing attacks in 2015 for building a fence on our border in the interest of protecting ourselves and the EU,” Szijjártó said. “They threw all kinds of disgusting labels at us and did not hesitate to compare us to the darkest dictatorships of the 20th century.”
But the situation is different now and border fences are no longer uncommon in the EU, the minister said. Hungary has had positive experiences in this area, he said, adding that had the country not built a fence on its southern border, hundreds of thousands or even millions more could have entered Europe illegally. Hungary protected Europe then and is prepared to do so again, Szijjártó said.
Featured photo via Péter Szijjártó’s Facebook page