Change in Italian migration policy could represent a major step forward
03. 02. 2017.
Prime Minister Viktor Orbán believes that major progress could be achieved if Italy changes its standpoint on handling migration, because then the wave of migrants could be successfully stopped before they enter the European Union.

The Prime Minister spoke to Hungarian public media on Friday after arriving in the Maltese capital, Valetta, to attend an informal summit of EU heads of state and government. The topic of the morning’s workshop was migration.

Mr. Orbán told reporters that with its new government Italy could join the group of countries which include Hungary: those which see the current situation as untenable; those which see the political line on migration that EU has practiced so far as mistaken; and those which see

Hungary’s stance on the issue as the correct one.

“So we should not be letting in the migrants and then solving their problems, but we should instead take help where the trouble is, and not allow the problem to enter our territory”, he said. According to the Prime Minister, “If Italy joins our club, then it could mean that at the Libyan coast we are able to prevent migrants from making sea crossings, and are able to take them back to Libya, instead of transporting them into Europe”.

Mr. Orbán said he views this as a major opportunity that could result in an important change and major progress.

Photo: Balázs Szecsődi

The United States has the right to determine its own border policy

With relation to American President Donald Trump’s executive decree banning the citizens of seven Muslim countries from entering the United States, the Prime Minister said: “I am surprised to see the neurotic critical reactions to the decision of the United States”.
“The United States is not a member of the European Union; it is an independent state, and as such it has the right to determine its own border, foreign and migration policies”, Mr. Orbán declared.

“The American leadership has decided that it will not be giving entry visas to the citizens of certain states, and this is something the United States has a right to do”, he stressed, adding that “It makes no difference what we think about this – it isn’t Europe’s business”. The Prime Minister said that “We should be concentrating on ourselves and should be dealing with our own problems, instead of criticising the United States”.

In addition to migration, the main topic of Friday’s one-day informal summit in Malta is the new global political situation.