BUDAPEST: Hungary may consider the option of a “corridor” for thousands of migrants to pass through from Croatia by train or bus if Austria and Germany want one and take full responsibility, Prime Minister Viktor Orban’s chief of staff said on Thursday.
Janos Lazar said the government’s primary goal was to protect Hungary‘s borders and the European Union’s external frontiers. The fence built along Hungary‘s boundaries with Serbia and Croatia and the government’s tough regulations on illegal migration served this goal, he said.
Hungary, a landlocked nation of 10 million, lies in the path of the largest migration wave Europe has seen since World War Two. It has registered more than 240,000 migrants this year, the vast majority of whom move onto Germany or northern Europe.
“If Austria and Germany want this and take responsibility for this along with other EU members, the Hungarian government will consider the … possibility of creating conditions for migrants arriving from Croatia to the Hungarian border … to move on in regulated circumstances,” he added.
Lazar said this, however, must not pose a “security risk” to Hungary. Orban will hold a meeting of the national security cabinet later on Thursday, and state news agency MTI said he would pay a visit to Austria on Friday.
His right-wing government has clamped down on illegal border crossings this month: the high steel fence on the Serbian border has reduced inflows of migrants to a trickle there.
Lazar said the migrant quota system approved in Brussels is “seriously flawed” and Hungary is considering challenging the decision in court. “The quota proposal is a typical example of moral imperialism which Germany forces upon Europe,” he said.
The government wants to have a debate in parliament on the issue before making a final decision on whether to challenge the EU decision in court.